National migration series | Part 3: The link between departures and arrivals
In the last blog in our series on national migration, we discussed inward migration and confirmed that the total arrivals figure is currently high, but that the components making up that result point to lower levels of cumulative change in the long term.
Still looking at Permanent Long-Term (PLT) arrivals, another layer of complexity is revealed when considering the country of last permanent residence.
Where are these migrants coming from?
Note, these figures are for New Zealand. If you’re interested in the corresponding Australian figures, you can find them in the overseas arrivals section of this freely available community profile for Australia.
1. Australia dominates PLT figures, and further digging reveals that New Zealand citizens make up almost two-thirds of the Australian PLT arrivals. Additionally, New Zealand citizens account for one in three of the United Kingdom PLT arrivals (Statistics New Zealand, 2017).
Australia clearly plays a dominant role in the migration puzzle, and a buoyant economy is part of the answer.
Jacques Poot, Professor of Population Economics at Waikato University labels it “people voting with their feet”. When the economy is strong you can expect growth in migration with higher proportions of young working age people. There will also be a corresponding slowing of outward migration as more young working age people choose to stay.”
Looking at the historical flow of New Zealanders to Australia provides further context.
Between 1979 and 2016, New Zealand experienced an average net loss of around 17,000 a year, but that average obscures larger net losses like the 39,800 in 2012 (Statistics New Zealand, 2017). Last year was the first year since 1991 that there was a net migration gain from Australia.
Moving away from net results to departures, Australia’s role is further confirmed. The table below shows Australia dominating PLT departures from New Zealand between 2014 – 2016, even though there is a slowing trend.
Australia accounted for around 49% of all departures in 2014, 44% in 2015 and 42% in 2016. Back in 2012, at the height of the mining boom, 62% of the total PLT departures from New Zealand were to Australia. The UK comes a consistent and clear second destination. It is also interesting to observe the spread of destinations in Asia.
Permanent Long-Term departures from New Zealand – Country of permanent residence
|Country of next permanent residence||Year ended June|
|China, People’s Republic of||2,494||2,257||2,121|
|Hong Kong (SAR)||345||319||310|
|Korea, Republic of||1,262||1,013||834|
|United States of America||3,059||3,043||3,223|
|Africa and the Middle East||1,421||1,334||1,156|
|United Arab Emirates||307||324||262|
In summary, Australia is a key player in the migration puzzle. Planners should carefully consider the economic climate in Australia and New Zealand (and in relation to each other), as shifts in the economy in either country can trigger a bungee effect.
ANZ Bank. (2017, May). Reports – Economic weekly. Retrieved from ASB: https://www.asb.co.nz/content/dam/asb/document/reports/economic-weekly/economicweekly_010517.pdf
Bedford, R. (2017). Publications. Retrieved from Knowledge Auckland: http://www.knowledgeauckland.org.nz/assets/publications/Aucklands-population-2013-2033-R-Bedford.pdf
Nolan, P. (2017, August). National population estimates: At 30 June 2017. Retrieved from Statistics New Zealand: http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections/NationalPopulationEstimates_MRAt30Jun17.aspx
Statistics New Zealand. (2017, July). Trending topics – migration. Retrieved from Statistics New Zealand: http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/Migration/international-travel-and-migration-articles/trending-topics-migration.aspx
Westpac New Zealand. (2017, August). Red News. Retrieved from Westpac: https://www.westpac.co.nz/assets/Red-News/Westpac-QEO-Aug-2017.pdf