Seasonally adjusted permanent and long-term (PLT) migration figures showed a net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 4,700 migrants in September. This equals the highest-ever net gains recorded in August 2014 and February 2003.
Net migration has increased in most months over the past year. The difference between the net gains recorded in September 2013 (2,700) and September 2014 was mainly due to more arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens (up 1,500).
The seasonally adjusted net loss of 300 migrants to Australia in September 2014 was up from 100 in June and July 2014, but still lower than the loss of 800 in September 2013.
The highest net loss to Australia was 4,300 in February 2001, just before an immigration policy change that restricted access to welfare benefits for New Zealand citizens arriving after that date.
The figures for the September 2014 year showed New Zealand's highest-ever net gain of 45,400 migrants, higher than last months 43,500, or the previous high of 42,500 in May 200. Over the last 20 years, New Zealand's annual net inflow of migrants has averaged 11,700, so net migration is currently extremely strong.
The highest-ever net gain of migrants was driven by both more arrivals and fewer departures. Migrant arrivals reached a new high of 105,500 in the September 2014 year, up 16 percent from the September 2013 year (91,200). Migrant departures numbered 60,100, down 21 percent from the previous year (76,000).
The increase in migrant arrivals between the September 2013 and 2014 years was led by Australia (up 4,500), India (up 3,800), China (up 1,600), and the Philippines (up 1,100).
The fall in migrant departures was primarily due to fewer departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia (down 14,100).
There was still a net loss of 6,000 people to Australia in the September 2014 year, but this is well down from the net losses of 25,300 in the September 2013 year and 39,500 in the September 2012 year. The latest figure is the smallest net loss to Australia since the December 1994 year (5,900).
New Zealand recorded net gains of migrants from most other countries in the September 2014 year, led by:
The biggest changes in migrant arrivals by visa type over the last year were:
Most of the increase in migrants arriving on student visas was from India (up 3,800).
Nearly all regions had a net gain of migrants in the September 2014 year, led by Auckland (21,000), Canterbury (5,600), Waikato (1,400), and Otago (1,300).