WELLINGTON, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) — New Zealand’s population grew by 100,400 in the year ended June 2017, the largest ever increase for a year, the country’s statistics department Stats NZ said on Monday.
New Zealand’s estimated resident population was 4.79 million as of June 30, and net migration — arrivals minus departures — contributed 72,300 people to the growth, along with 28,100 from natural increase — births minus deaths, said a Stats NZ release.
Half of last year’s growth was in the 15-39 age group, population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said, adding that this reflects the contribution of migration to the population growth.
Over the last five years, New Zealand’s population grew by nearly 390,000, the release said.
New Zealand’s current gain from net migration equates to 15 people per 1,000 population, and much higher net migration rates were experienced in the late 1870s, it said, adding that “similar rates to today were also experienced in the early 1900s and early 2000s.”
New Zealand’s current net migration rate is high by New Zealand standards, but historically it has fluctuated more than other countries, Dolan said.
“At the moment, we’re experiencing rates similar to Australia’s in 2009,” Dolan said.
Most migrants are arriving on short-term work and student visas, he said, adding that many of them, however, extend their visas, or transition to other visa types including residence visas, and it makes sense to count long-term stayers as part of the population, rather than as short-term visitors.
As a result of recent migration flows, the share of New Zealand’s population aged 15-39 years rose from 33 percent in 2013 to 34 percent in 2017. This is a reversal of the trend that saw the share drop from 41 percent in the mid-1980s.
Growth of the broad over 65 age group continues to accelerate, up 25,000 in the last year, as the large birth cohorts of the 1950s-early 1970s begin to reach those ages, the release said.
The population at the oldest ages is also growing, reflecting decreasing death rates at all ages over a long period of time. The over-90 years population is now 30,000 compared with 20,000 in 2007. It is projected to reach 40,000 in the late 2020s and 50,000 in the early 2030s, it said.