New Zealand’s population set to become more broad based

by Ray Clancy on May 19, 2017

New Zealand’s population is projected to increase by about a million in the next 20 years with ethnic group numbers also set to increase, new figures show.

The analysis from Statistics New Zealand suggests that ethnic groups with higher birth rates or higher migration rates will increase their share of the population by 2038. New figures also show more international students arriving to study.


The Maori ethnic population is projected to increase from 16% of the population in 2013 to 18% by 2038, while the broad Pacific ethnic group is expected to increase from 8% to 10% and the broad Asian ethnic group from 12% to 22% over the 25 year period.

Meanwhile, the European or Other group is expected to fall from 75% of New Zealand’s total population to about 66% by 2038, the report also suggests.

‘Slower growth in the broad European or Other ethnic population is due to its older age structure compared to other ethnic groups,’ said population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan.

The projections indicate that the Chinese, Indian, Samoan, and Middle Eastern/Latin American/African ethnic shares of New Zealand’s population will increase, with the Chinese and Indian ethnic shares almost doubling.

Meanwhile, the latest migration figures show that in the 12 months to April 2017 some 71,900 more people arrived in New Zealand than left with arrival reaching 129,800, a new annual record.

The data also shows that 52,600 people arrived in New Zealand on student visas and of these 23,900 were students intending to stay for 12 months or more. Some 25% of students were from India, 23% from China, 6% from the Philippines and 5% from South Africa.

‘Almost one in five migrant arrivals for the last 12 months were people coming to New Zealand to study. Student arrivals from Asia dominated the overall student migrant arrivals, contributing almost three quarters of the total,’ Dolan pointed out.

However, overall the number of students were down 3,800 or 14% which Dolan said reflected a drop in student arrivals from India, the second consecutive year of decreasing student migrant arrivals from the country.

The figures reveal where students end up studying with the majority, 57%, settling in the Auckland region, 11% in Canterbury, 8% in Wellington and 7% in Waikato.

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