Young people moving to New Zealand most likely to end up in Auckland

by Ray Clancy on November 1, 2017

Most people moving to New Zealand are aged 15 to 39 and they are most likely to move to Auckland, the country’s biggest urban centre, official figures show.

It is well documented that New Zealand is one of the world’s most popular nations for expats and figures from the official statistics agency reveal that in the 12 months to June 2017 half of population growth was in this age group due to the impact of migration.

New Zealand Students

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But a cut in visas granted for immigration to New Zealand is now on the cards with the newly elected Government pledging to cut annual immigration by 30,000 with a drop in visas granted for overseas students expected to make up a third of this.

The data from Statistics New Zealand also show that about two thirds of the gain from net migration this year was in this age range. The population growth in this age group has affected regional age structures, where five of the regions with the highest net migration either had a stable or decreasing median age in the last year.

Overall the population increased by 110,400 in the year to the end of June 2017 with 72,300 of this from people arriving to live and work from overseas. Auckland was New Zealand’s fastest growing region with an annual 2.6% rise in population while Northland and Waikato are not far behind with a population rise of 2.4%.

‘We’re seeing high growth in our big cities, but also in the areas surrounding them, driven by migration,’ said population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan, adding that Auckland’s population grew 42,700 to 1.66 million, with 28,900 more people arriving than leaving.

The West Coast was the only region with a declining population. Its population fell from 33,100 in 2012 to 32,500 in 2016, and decreased further to 32,400 in 2017.

The figures also show that Auckland has the youngest population with half of those living there under the age of 33.9 while Tasman had the highest median age of 46.1 years in 2017.

However, the newly elected Government could put a stop to immigration growth. The new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged to cut immigration and ban foreigners from buying houses.

A new policy on buying homes is likely to be in place by the end of this year and Ardern says she wants to cut annual immigration by 30,000. Soaring house prices, particularly in Auckland, was a major issue in the general election campaign.

There have also been indications of tougher regulation of migration agents, especially those dealing with foreign students. The number of courses offered to overseas students could be dropped and Ardern has said that a third of the 30,000 drop in annual immigration could be student visas.

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