Net migration in New Zealand grew by 7,405 for February 2018, a fall from 8,609 in February 2017 and 8,581 in February 2016, Statistics NZ revealed.
For the year ended February 2018, the net population increased by 68,333, a decline from 71,333 in the year ended February 2017 and 67,391 in the year ended February 2016.
Statistics NZ said net migration reached its yearly high in the year ended July 2017, and this was the first time since May 2016 that the yearly net migration had plummeted below 69,000.
Despite these figures, net migration is still considered high and has risen significantly over the last five years, increasing from a net migration figure of 1,195 in the year ended February 2013 to 68,333 in the year ended February 2018.
Statistics NZ was quoted by interest.co.nz as saying that the slump over the last one year had been primarily because of the rise in departures of overseas citizens as 29,100 left in the one year up to February, an increase of 22 percent compared to the last one year.
On the other hand, the number of New Zealand nationals leaving the country was 813 more than those arrived in the one-year ended February 2018 compared to the net migration 69,756 non-New Zealanders into the country during the same period.
Satish Ranchhod, Westpac economist, taking a note of the figures, said that the net migration was expected to fall further.
He said that most of the migration rise in recent years was because of people coming to the Australasian country on the student and temporary work visas. Many of these people are leaving, he added.
Rancchod said that they were expecting this trend to continue for some time to come. The largest source countries of migrants to New Zealand were China (Hong Kong included) from where net migration of 9,297 was seen in the year ended February 2018. The second spot was taken by India with 6,905, followed by the UK with 5,916, and South Africa and the Philippines with 4,910 and 4,756, respectively.
Of the 130,966 people arriving in New Zealand in the year ended February 2017, 46,183 arrived on work visas, 36, 684 were either the nationals of New Zealand or Australia coming on student visas and 14,841 entered the country on residency visas.
Auckland continued to attract the most number of net migrants (34,928) in the year ended February 2018.
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