Immigration hits record in July but more Kiwis leaving

Chinese migration continued to be the largest on a net basis.

New Zealand annual net migration rose to a record in July, driven by foreign immigrants, with the biggest groups coming from Australia, the UK and China

Annual net migration reached 72,400 in the year to July, up 3,400 on the same period a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said. Three-quarters of the record 132,100 migrant arrivals were non-New Zealand citizens, with 1,100 more New Zealanders leaving the country than returning in the latest year. There has been a net migration gain of 72,400 non-New Zealand citizens in the past year to July.

New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration in recent years, with rising immigration a key election issue as it strains the country's infrastructure and has been blamed for inflating property markets.

Chinese migration continued to be the largest on a net basis, with 9,961 of the 72,400 net arrivals from China, while India was the second-largest source at 7,444 net. However, Indian net migration was down 34 percent from a year earlier, with a 32 percent drop in annual student visas granted to Indian citizens.

Migration from the UK had the biggest increases on a net basis, up 53 percent to 6,750, with net South African migration also up 50 percent to 4,862. The number of net migrants from Australia dropped to 469, from 1,750 a year earlier.

China continued to be the biggest source of migrants on residence visas, rising 12.2 percent to 3,413 in the year to the end of July, ahead of the total residence visa gain of 7.2 percent to 16,661. There was a 15.3 percent increase in work visas granted in the year, to 45,397, while student visas dropped 9.9 percent to 24,132 and NZ and Australian citizen arrivals rose 6.3 percent to 38,740.

Short-term visitor arrivals, which include tourists, people visiting family and friends and people travelling for work, reached 3.7 million in the year ended May 31, up 9 percent from a year earlier and a new annual record, Stats NZ said. A record 1.9 million people came to New Zealand on holiday in the year, boosted by visitors from Australia, the US and the UK, with a spike from the UK in June during the Lions rugby tour.

New Zealand residents took a record 2.77 million overseas trips in the July 2017 year, up 11 percent from the July 2016 year, with the biggest increases from people going to Australia, the US and China.


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