Lower population growth in New Zealand, latest data shows

by Ray Clancy on February 22, 2012

NZ experiences lowest population growth for 11 years

New Zealand’s population has experienced its lowest growth for 11 years, new figures from Statistics New Zealand show.

The estimated resident population increased 0.7% in the year to the end of December 2011 to reach 4,422,700.

Natural increase, that is excess of births over deaths, was 31,400, the lowest for a December since 2005. International migrant departures exceeded arrivals, resulting in a net migration loss of 1,900.

‘Consequently we are seeing the lowest population growth for a December year since 2000, when the population increased 0.6%,’ said population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn.

New Zealand’s population growth has fluctuated over the last 20 years. The highest growth for a December year was 1.9% in 2002, while the lowest was 0.6% in 2000. In the 20 years beginning 31 December 1991, the average annual growth was 1.2%.

‘While natural increase has been a constant contributor to population growth over the last two decades, net international migration has fluctuated,’ Blackburn added.

Natural increase, over the last 20 years, has remained relatively stable, averaging 30,900 each year. Net migration however, has been comparatively volatile. For a December year, the largest net migration gain was 38,200 in 2002, and the largest loss was 11,300 in 2000.

There were 7,000 fewer people unemployed in the December 2011 quarter, the latest data also shows. This saw the unemployment rate fall to 6.3% from 6.6% in the September quarter. There was an increase of 3,000 in the number of people employed, while the employment rate remained unchanged at 63.9%.

‘We saw a steady employment rate because the increase in the number of people employed kept pace with the growing working age population. The employment rate has not changed for three consecutive quarters,’ explained industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay.

Part time employment rose 3% in the December quarter. In unadjusted terms, the largest annual increase in part time employment was in the education and training industry. In contrast, full time employment fell 0.8%.

‘A sharp rise in male full time employment in the September quarter exaggerated the fall in full time employment this quarter. Although there was a fall over the December quarter, full time employment increased slightly over the year,’ Ramsay said.

These changes in full time and part time employment were reflected in a fall in the hours worked. Both actual hours and usual hours worked fell by 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively. The fall in actual hours follows a September quarter peak in actual hours that was similar to that for male full time employment.

The number of people not in the labour force rose 11,000 in the December 2011 quarter. Compared with the December 2010 quarter, unadjusted figures showed the largest increases were in the 20 to 24 and 65 plus years age groups. These increases reflected a rise in the number of younger people choosing to study and an ageing population.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: