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Population growth lowest for 11 years
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  15 February 2012

National Population Estimates: December 2011 quarter  –  Media Release

New Zealand’s population has experienced its lowest growth for 11 years, Statistics New Zealand said today. The estimated resident population increased 0.7 percent (29,600) in the year ended 31 December 2011 to reach 4,422,700. The increase is equivalent to the population of Southland district.

Natural increase (excess of births over deaths) was 31,400, the lowest for a December year since 2005. International migrant departures exceeded arrivals, resulting in a net migration loss of 1,900. “Consequently we are seeing the lowest population growth for a December year since 2000, when the population increased 0.6 percent (21,900),” Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said.

New Zealand’s population growth has fluctuated over the last 20 years. The highest growth for a December year was 1.9 percent in 2002, while the lowest was 0.6 percent in 2000. In the 20 years beginning 31 December 1991, the average annual growth was 1.2 percent.

“While natural increase has been a constant contributor to population growth over the last two decades, net international migration has fluctuated,” Mrs Blackburn said. Natural increase, over the last 20 years, has remained relatively stable, averaging 30,900 each year. Net migration however, has been comparatively volatile. For a December year, the largest net migration gain was 38,200 in 2002, and the largest loss was 11,300 in 2000.  

 

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
15 February 2012

 END

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