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Annual net migration gain at decade low


Friday 19th August 2011

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The annual net gain from migration reached its lowest level in almost a decade in the year to July, as earthquake-hit Christchurch continued to lose people.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) today showed a net gain of 2900 migrants in the year to July, the lowest figure since the October 2001 year.

In the latest year the number of people leaving the country on a permanent and long term (PLT) basis was up 23 percent to 81,800, with arrivals up 3 percent to 84,600.

For the month of July there was a seasonally adjusted net outflow of 200 migrants, the fifth consecutive month with more departures than arrivals.

The net loss of 3200 to Australia last month was the highest for a July month since figures were first recorded in 1978, SNZ said.

The 800 Christchurch residents who moved overseas in July was up from 500 a year earlier. Since the devastating February 22 earthquake 4200 people had left Christchurch, compared to 2500 during the same period in 2010.

The 1800 people arriving to settle in Christchurch since February was down from 2600 a year earlier.

ANZ bank said the national net PLT outflow continued to be driven by people leaving Christchurch, with a net 676 people moving from overseas to the rest of the country.

With this country standing out among the global gloom, a return to net PLT migration inflow remained in prospect, while potential emigrants may also start to reassess their plans.

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