By Michael Reddell 24/08/2015 1


The chart below shows the birth countries for the net permanent and long-term (self-identified) migrants for the 14 years ending March 2002 to 2015 (Statistics New Zealand has a break in the series prior to that).  SNZ don’t break out all the countries, but these are the ones they separately identify.  “Net” is emphasised by the large negative number for the New Zealand-born.

I don’t have a point to make.  I hadn’t had a look at the birthplace data for a while, and I’m always conscious that two of my children are net PLT immigrants, so I was a little curious.

plt by birthplace
A few things surprised me a little, in the second tier of countries.  I was a little surprised at how many people had come from the United States, Japan, Germany and France –  all countries with higher per capita incomes than New Zealand.  Of course, the flows are tiny relative to the respective home populations, and some portion will be people like my kids (New Zealanders born overseas while their parents were working abroad), but it was a flow I was a little surprised by.  Perhaps relatedly, the size of the flow of Australian-born immigrants was interesting –  similar in total to the flow from the United States, despite being closer and despite Australian citizens having free entry.  I wonder what proportion of the Australian-born net flow is the children of New Zealanders who went to Australian for a few years and then came home?


One Response to “Birthplaces of our net PLT migrants”

  • Why are you surprised that a lot of people born in “higher per capita incomes countries” come to New Zealand. I think there is more to this then wealth alone. After all the additional value of more money gets smaller. Look at it this way, if you have nothing $ 100,- probably feels like Christmas. But if you are a millionaire you probably can’t be bothered with it.

    So at some point other things get more important. Being from The Netherlands myself, one of the “higher per capita income countries” I made the choice not base on wealth but on quality of life. In my opinion there is more quality of life here then in The Netherlands.