Record numbers of migrants arrive in Australia and New Zealand

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Data reveals Australia and New Zealand are top destinations for migrants, with record arrivals recorded in the last 12 months.

Australia’s population grew by 2.2 per cent to 26.5 million people in the 12 months to 31 March this year, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Beidar Cho, ABS head of demography, said: “13 months after international borders were re-opened, net overseas migration accounted for 81 per cent of growth and added 454,400 people to the population in the year to March 2023.”

Net overseas migration was driven by a large increase in arrivals (up 103 per cent from last year to 681,000) and only a small increase in overseas migrant departures (up 8.8 per cent to 226,600).

This pattern, low departures in particular, is a catch-up effect after closed international borders, as international students return with only a small number departing because very few arrived during the pandemic. This effect is expected to be temporary as the number of departures will increase in the future as temporary students start departing in usual numbers.

Western Australia is the fastest-growing state (+2.8 per cent) followed by Victoria (+2.4 per cent) and Queensland (+2.3 per cent). The largest increase in total population was Victoria with 161,700 people, slightly more than New South Wales with 156,300 people.

According to data released by Stats NZ, there has been a record net migration gain of 96,200 people in the July 2023 year for New Zealand.

The current net migration gain is driven by net gains of non-New Zealand citizens and follows progressive relaxation of COVID-19-related border restrictions from early 2022, as well as changes to immigration settings.

“The record net migration gain in the July 2023 year follows 12 months of a fully open New Zealand border and equates to a net gain of about 19 people per 1,000 population,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

This reverses a net migration loss of 14,500 in the July 2022 year.

The previous net migration peak of 91,700 in the March 2020 year was partly due to many travellers who arrived in late 2019 and early 2020 prolonging their stay in New Zealand as COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions came into effect.

Source: © Commonwealth of Australia

Source: © Crown copyright

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