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New Zealand population jumps the most since end of World War 2

New Zealand population jumps the most since end of World War 2
A pedestrian passes buildings in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday, April 11, 2022. (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Bloomberg)

New Zealand posted its biggest calendar-year jump in population since the end of World War 2 reinforcing the scale of the potential impact on demand and inflation from record immigration.

The estimated population increased 2.8% in 2023, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday in Wellington. That’s the fastest pace in modern records dating back to 1992, and the most since 1946 according to the previous, discontinued data series. The population rose to 5,305,600 people.

Record immigration is the overwhelming driver of the surge in population. Foreign workers flooded into the country to fill labor shortages after it re-opened its border in 2022 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 145,100 gain in 2023 reflected net immigration of 126,000 and occurred despite a natural increase of just 19,200 — the lowest for a calendar year since the modern data series began.

The Reserve Bank late last year said the impact of population growth on demand for houses and rental accommodation was a concern because it could make it more difficult to return inflation to its 1-3% target. 

The central bank said earlier on Friday it has more work to do to slow core inflation and anchor inflation expectations, suggesting it won’t be signalling a pivot to interest-rate cuts anytime soon.

There are signs the pace of immigration may have peaked, with a report this week showing net arrivals in December were the lowest in 17 months.

Fourth-quarter population growth eased to 25,700, today’s report showed. That’s the lowest since the third quarter of 2022 and down from a record 43,100 lift in the three months through March.

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  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Haha its all the young “currently disadvantaged” South Africans who have moved to greener pastures where they are not discriminated against because they’re the wrong colour! BEE policies and ANC governance are to blame for our loss and NZ’s gain!

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