Almost 550,000 left over last eight years

Over the last eight years, almost 550,000 NZ residents have left either permanently or long-term. That is over 13% of the population.Of course there has been migration into NZ also, but replacing NZers who leave is not the same as keeping NZers here, or having them return.

Of the 543,748 residents who have left, 391,334 were NZ citizens. And of those entering NZ only 193,557 were NZ citizens. That’s a net loss of almost 200,000 citizens.

Most focus is on the exodus to Australia.  This graph shows the flows for the last decade.


9/11 saw the numbers leaving fall off, and then stay constant through 2002 and 2003. But since 2003 the net migration to Australia has gone from 10,000 a year to over 25,000.


This graph shows the cumulative flows to and from Australia since Labour took office.

The equivalent of the total combined populations of Hamilton and Dunedin have moved to Australia.

All data from the External Migration series from Stats NZ.

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