Expats are likely to contribute to a third of the growth of the population in New Zealand by 2031, it is claimed.
New projections from Statistics New Zealand say that of every 100 people in New Zealand, 38 will be living in Auckland in 2031 compared with 34 in 2011.
The subnational population projections indicate Auckland will continue to be New Zealand’s fastest growing region, and account for three fifths of the country’s population growth between 2011 and 2031.
Auckland would then have almost two million of the 5.2 million people living in New Zealand.
Natural increase, births minus deaths, is projected to account for two thirds of Auckland’s growth, but net migration will account for the remaining third.
Of New Zealand’s 16 regions, only Auckland will have more births in 2027 to 2031 than in 2007 to 2011. But all regions will have more deaths as the population ages.
‘Auckland has a slightly younger population than other regions, and younger populations tend to have more births and relatively fewer deaths,’ said population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn.
Of New Zealand’s 67 territorial authority areas, 44 are projected to have more people in 2031 than in 2011. However, population growth rates will slow over the projection period for all areas because of the contrasting trends between births and deaths.
The fastest growth between 2011 and 2031 is expected in Selwyn and Queenstown-Lakes districts, up an average of 1.9% a year.
Despite an estimated population loss of 8,900 in the year ended June 2011, Christchurch city is projected to increase by an average of 1,500 a year during 2012 to 2016 and 2,500 a year during 2017 to 2031.
The projections are not predictions, but an indication of the size and composition of the future population. Statistics NZ produces low, medium, and high growth projections for every local area every two to three years to assist planning by communities, local councils, and government.