While New Zealand reports a decline in net migration in 2018 after reaching a record high in 2017, the number of South Africans moving to the island country continues to grow.
According to a Statistics New Zealand report released earlier this month, annual net migration was 62,700 for the year ended September 2018 – down 8,300 from the same period last year.
Of these there were 129,000 migrant arrivals (down 2,600) and 66,200 migrant departures (up 5,600) compared to the same period last year.
Of the 66,200 migrant departures more than half were New Zealand citizens (34,500). However, non-New Zealand citizens leaving the country rose to 31,800 over the 12 months.
“The increase in migrant departures, and decrease in migrant arrivals, both contributed to a lower net migration level,” population insights senior manager Brooke Theyers said.
“However, the increase in migrant departures had a greater effect as the change was larger, particularly for non-New Zealand citizens.”
South Africans moving
Statistics provided to BusinessTech by Stats NZ show that the number of permanent South African arrivals has steadily increased over the past 15 years.
South Africans choose to move to New Zealand for numerous reasons, most notably because its safe, is child friendly, and for job opportunities.
Historically these South Africans have entered the country on residence and work visas, however, the data shows that there has also been an increase in student visa-arrivals in recent years.
A May report by American think tank, Pew Research, estimated that there are currently 60,000 South African migrants living in New Zealand at the end of 2017 – the fourth highest migrant population outside of South Africa.
According to Pew Research, New Zealand is only surpassed by the United Kingdom (210,000), Australia (190,000), and the United States (100,000).
Permanent & long-term arrivals by South Africans and visa type
|Year||Residence visa||Student visa||Visitor visa||Work visa||Other||Total|
|2008||704||544||541||1 141||3||2 933|
|2016||576||842||514||1 864||3||3 799|
|2017||659||1 225||679||2 565||5||5 133|
|2018||444||1 413||714||2 953||10||5 534|