Births drive New Zealand’s population growth


For the first June year since 2013, natural increase (births minus deaths) was the main driver of New Zealand’s annual population growth, the country’s statistics department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.

New Zealand’s population provisionally grew by 32,400 people, or 0.6 per cent, to reach 5.12 million on June 30, 2021, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

This is the first full June year during the Covid-19 pandemic, where border closures and travel restrictions reduced net migration, giving the lowest annual growth since June 2012 when the population grew by 0.5 percent, it said.

“Net migration has been the main driver of New Zealand’s population growth in recent years, but for the June 2021 year, natural increase was nearly six times higher than the contribution from net migration,” population estimates and projections manager Hamish Slack said in a statement.

The impacts of Covid-19 on international travel have resulted in a provisional net migration gain of only 4,700 for the year ending June 2021, the lowest since 2013, Slack said.

New Zealand’s population change is a combination of natural increase (births minus deaths) and net migration (migrant arrivals minus migrant departures), according to Stats NZ.

Although the smallest of the broad age groups, people aged 65 years and over were the fastest growing age group, up 3.43 percent, or 27,200 people, in the June 2021 year, the statistics showed.

Most of this increase was a result of people born in the mid-1950s turning 65 and moving into this age group, Slack said.

In contrast, the number of people aged 15-39 years shrank by 0.27 per cent, or 4,700 people.

This drop mainly reflected more people moving out of this age group to older ages than moving into this age group from younger ages, he said.

The population at June 30 2021 included 2.54 million males and 2.58 million females, with the number of females growing slightly faster than males in the last year, which was 0.66 and 0.61 per cent, respectively, according to Stats NZ.