New Zealand population set to reach five million by 2020

Post image for New Zealand population set to reach five million by 2020

by Ray Clancy on October 21, 2016

The population of New Zealand is set to reach five million by 2020 but could do so sooner, according to the latest data to be published.

The report from Statistics New Zealand suggest that migration will be needed to keep the country growing as without new arrivals from abroad the country’s population will start falling by around 2050.

auckland-new-zealandThe figures are published at a time when the country’s population is growing fast with the data showing that in the year to the end of June 2016 the population grew at its fastest rate since the early 1960s, up 2.1% or 97,000.

The population was estimated to be 4.69 million at the end of June 2016, with net migration being 69,100 over the June year.

The latest projections show a high chance of the population rising to between 4.9 and 5.1 million by 2020. By 2025 the population is expected to be between 5 million and 5.5 million. By 2068, the projections indicate a population of between 5.3 and 7.9 million.

The long term median (mid-point) net migration is assumed to fluctuate around 15,000 a year. However, if there was average migration of 30,000 a year, the population could reach 7.5 million by 2068. Alternatively, that 7.5 million figure could also be exceeded with much higher fertility rates.

‘If there was no migration, the population would peak at 5.3 million around 2050 and then slowly decline,’ said Statistics NZ senior demographer Kim Dunstan.

The projections also show growing numbers of older people in coming decades. The number of people aged 85 years and older will more than triple, from about 83,000 in 2016, to between 270,000 and 320,000 in the next 30 years. Those aged 65 years and older will roughly double, from about 700,000 now to between 1.3 and 1.5 million in 2046.

However, overall population growth is expected to slow in the longer term as the population ages and the gap between births and deaths narrows. The rate of population growth may halve to less than 1% in the 2030s.

The predictions are published at a time when New Zealand is proving to be increasingly popular with expats as the number of new arrivals to live, work and study reached a record high of 69,100 in the year to August, equalling the previous record set in June.

The performance of the New Zealand economy with GDP growing around 4% and the unemployment rate trending lower along with the country not being exposed to political uncertainty and terrorism makes it attractive, according to ANZ Bank senior economist Phil Borkin.

‘We still believe that New Zealand will continue to remain an attractive destination for migrants and also an attractive place for New Zealanders, so we’ll see less people wanting to leave as well,’ he explained.

‘I don’t think New Zealand will set new highs from here, but certainly don’t see it heading back to its historically average of around 15,000 any time soon,’ he added.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: