Quake drives decade-high emigration from New Zealand

November 22nd, 2011 - 1:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Nov 22 (IANS) New Zealand had its first yearly net loss of migrants in a decade, show figures for the year ending October.

The number of people who left New Zealand permanently or long-term outnumbered migrants into the country, the government statistics agency announced Tuesday.

A total of 84,400 people emigrated from New Zealand in the year to the end of October, while the country welcomed 84,300 immigrants, Xinhua reported.

The first annual net loss of migrants since 2001 was due to a net loss of 35,000 people to Australia, said the statement.

However, New Zealand saw net gains in migrants from most other countries, led by Britain (5,700), India (5,100), and China (4,600).

The devastating earthquake in Christchurch in February, when at least 181 people died, resulted in a net exodus from the city. Unadjusted figures showed that 6,000 Christchurch residents had moved overseas since the quake, compared with 3,700 during the same period in 2010.

People moving into Christchurch from overseas totalled 3,200 since the Feb 22 quake, compared with 4,300 during the same period last year.

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