Population and migration - M12

 Special note: Discontinued statistics
18 February 2019 02:00 p.m.
Next release
16 May 2019 03:00 p.m.
Statistics New Zealand
Permanent & long-term migrants Estimated resident population
Date Arrivals (Number s.a.) Departures (Number s.a.) Net (Number s.a.) (Number)
Previous years:
Dec 2016 33,000 14,660 18,250 4,747,200
Dec 2017 32,950 15,690 17,130 4,844,400
Mar 2018 32,460 16,050 16,400 4,871,600
Jun 2018 31,780 16,990 14,860 4,885,500
Sep 2018 31,690 17,530 14,260 4,907,700
Dec 2018 26,060 - - 4,926,400

The data: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness

Coverage characteristics


Population estimates are derived from the latest census data with adjustments for net census undercount, residents temporarily overseas on census night, and births, deaths, and migration since the census.

International travel and migration

International travel and migration statistics measure the number of overseas visitors, New Zealand resident travellers, and permanent and long-term migrants entering or leaving New Zealand.

These statistics are based on electronic arrival and departure records for each international passenger, supplied to Statistics New Zealand by the New Zealand Customs Service.




Provisional population estimates are published within six weeks after the end of the reference quarter. Final population estimates are derived when an extra quarter of detailed births and deaths is available, about five months after the end of the reference quarter.

Final international travel and migration statistics are released approximately three weeks after the end of the reference quarter. The delay is longer for December data due to the peak travel period coinciding with the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Access by the public

Statistics release calendar

The Statistics Release Calendar provides a long-term plan of scheduled releases. It is updated and released on the first working day of the month.

View the Statistics Release Calendar.


Dissemination of terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced, including confidentiality of individual responses

The data has been reproduced with the permission of Statistics New Zealand.

Provision of information about revisions and advance notice of major changes in methodology

Revisions are generally published when a table is next due to be updated and released. New or revised data is in bold font.

Provisional and final population estimates are produced for the resident population each quarter. Final estimates are derived when an extra quarter of detailed births and deaths data are available. Changes between the provisional and final estimates are most apparent in the younger and older age groups, due to delayed registration of births and deaths.


Dissemination of documentation on methodology and sources used in preparing statistics

Data is sourced from Statistics New Zealand.

Population estimates

Estimated resident population

An estimate of all people who usually live in New Zealand on a given date. Visitors from overseas are excluded.

Estimates of the resident population are based on the latest census data and on births, deaths, and migration since the census.

Arrivals and departures

Overseas visitors

People who live overseas and are visiting New Zealand for less than 12 months.

New Zealand resident travellers

People who live in New Zealand and are travelling overseas for less than 12 months.

Permanent & long-term arrivals

People from overseas arriving to live in New Zealand for 12 months or more (including permanently), and New Zealanders returning after an absence of 12 months or more overseas.

Permanent & long-term departures

New Zealanders departing for an absence of 12 months or more (including permanently), and people from overseas who are departing after a stay of 12 months or more in New Zealand.

Discontinued Statistics

Stats NZ have discontinued some series from official international travel and migration statistics, following the change to an ‘outcomes-based’ measure of migration.

The affected series on the M12 web table are “Short-term overseas visitors – Departures (Number s.a.)”, “Short-term NZ resident travellers - Departures (Number s.a)”, “Permanent and long term migration – Departures (Number s.a.)”, and “Permanent and long term migration – Net (Number s.a.)”.

We will update the M12 web table to include the new official migration series.

If you have any questions please see Stats NZ’s website or contact stats-info@rbnz.govt.nz.

18 February 2019

Symbols and conventions for summary table

0 Zero or value rounded to zero
- Not applicable
.. Not available
bold Revised/new
italics Provisional
light red background Historical

General notes

  • Individual figures may not sum to the totals due to rounding
  • Percentage changes are calculated on unrounded numbers
  • You are free to copy, distribute and adapt these statistics subject to the conditions listed on our copyright page.