Aaron Schiff’s blog

About that migration boom

While the number of permanent and long term arrivals is up significantly over the past year or so, the number of departures is also noticeably down. Both of these are contributing to high net migration at the moment. To me what this says is that NZ is a pretty good place to live right now and this is attracting immigrants as well as retaining those who might otherwise migrate to greener pastures.

You will also notice in the above chart that over the past ten years the number of arrivals has been relatively steady with a slight upwards trend, while departures is more volatile. Thus temporary spikes in net migration seem to be caused more often by changes in the number of people leaving rather than arriving, although the recent spike has been caused by both sides of the equation.

A net gain of around 40,000 is forecast for this year, a level that hasn’t been seen since the early 2000s. This is generating some worries, but really if housing supply and construction cost problems can get sorted, this is something to celebrate rather than worry about.

We should celebrate because on the incoming side, skilled immigrants provide New Zealand with a significant free gift. Some other country has paid the cost of their birth, childcare, childhood medical care, education, etc. They turn up in New Zealand effectively bringing all that investment with them and this benefits the country. Sounds good to me.