New Zealand Records Its Weakest Population Growth in 30 Years!!

New Zealand is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean’s southwest corner. It is made up of two main landmasses, the North and South Islands, as well as around 700 smaller islands. 

New Zealand’s Population Growth Has Slowed For The First Time In 30 Years!

On May 16, 2022, New Zealand experienced its slowest population growth in 30 years, highlighting labor force tightness that is driving quicker inflation and necessitating aggressive interest-rate hikes.

New Zealand Records Its Weakest Population Growth in 30 Years

The population advanced by just 19,200, or 0.4%, to 5,127,000 on March 31, Statistics New Zealand said Monday in Wellington. 

That’s but the 25,100 gain within the year through March 2021 and is that the lowest since the govt agency began providing estimates in 1992.

In the year ending June 2021, New Zealand’s total population increased by 32,400 people. This was a dramatic decrease from previous years, with 2019 totaling 78,600 and 2020 totaling 111,000.

With a natural rise of 12,900 people in 2021, Auckland accounted for 47 percent of New Zealand’s overall population growth.

While the population rose thanks to natural increases, the pace of expansion has decelerated markedly because of the closure of the border to foreigners since March 2020, an absence of immigrant workers has pushed annual wage growth to 3.1%, the fastest pace since 2008, fueling faster inflation and higher rates. 

There were 26,400 more births than deaths within the year through March, while migration fell by 7,300.

After specifically the stats and digits one question arises what is the reason behind New Zealand’s weak population growth this year?

Meaning Of Population Decline:

The size and demographics of the population change when: fewer children are born; families with children move to larger towns and cities; young and better-educated people move to larger towns and cities.

The General Causes For Weak Population Growth:

  • Fewer children are born.
  • Families with children migrate to larger cities; young and educated people migrate to larger cities.

Cause For New Zealand’s Decline In Population Growth: 

The majority of New Zealand’s population increase has traditionally come from international migration. However, international migration accounted for only 14 percent of the growth in 2021, whereas it accounted for 76 percent of the growth in 2020.

This decline, however, is not unexpected. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and borders are generally blocked, there is very little international migration into New Zealand, and hence very little population change.

Meanwhile, the following districts are very urban and large districts with net internal migration declines in 2021:

  • Auckland has lost 13,500 individuals due to net internal migration.
  • The city of Christchurch has lost 1,600 residents due to net internal migration.
  • Wellington city has lost 1,200 individuals due to net internal migration.

In 2021, these three cities were three of the top four cities in terms of natural population growth. However, as shown above, considerable levels of negative internal migration occurred. 

Negative net internal migration came close to outweighing natural city growth in 2019 and 2020, indicating that this was not a one-time event in 2021.


Since natural population growth is gradual and steady, New Zealand is unlikely to witness significant population growth until COVID-19 is under control when border restrictions can be removed.

To top it off, violent crime rates in Auckland are up 30% from pre-pandemic levels. Already depopulated by Covid-19, several New Zealand cities are now experiencing a spike in crime.

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