Tuesday, 5 February 2008

'Exodus' II

Kiwiblog returns to the theme of the supposed exodus from New Zealanda second time, this time complaining that:
Over the last eight years, almost 550,000 NZ residents have left either permanently or long-term. That is over 13% of the population. (1)
This time, Kiwiblog makes an explicit link to the supposed massive migration and Labour's victory in 2000:
This graph shows the cumulative flows to and from Australia since Labour took office. (2)
So bravo to Kiwiblog for being honest enough to admit to an agenda. Unfortunately, this ingenuousness doesn't extend to the data, which is twisted to suit.

Again, no mention is made of long term immigration. Over the 2000-08 period, the 550,500 who left were more than balanced out by 657,445 long term immigrants - that is new migrants, long term visitors and New Zealanders returning home. Or, in average yearly terms, 67,969 New Zealanders and long term visitors (more than 12 months) left every year since 2000. Going the other way, however, were 82,181 long term immigrants - a net gain of just over 14,000 every year (3).

A bit of digging revealed that between 2000 and 2006, New Zealand farewelled 335,689 citizens. Over the same period, 170,588 returned. That's a ration of about 2:1, which, superficially, supports Kiwiblog's contention that people are leaving far more rapidly than they are coming back. The ratio for the 70s, however, is virtually the same - between 1971 and 1979, 146,211 returned, whereas 298,206 left. So though the numbers are greater, the ratio is still 2:1. The implication that Labour is driving people into exile just doesn't hold up (4).

As far as migration goes, Kiwis are behaving pretty much as Kiwis have always behaved.
1 - 'Almost 550,500 left over last eight years,' posted on kiwiblog, Monday the 4th of February, 2008. (http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/02/almost_550000_left_over_last_eight_years.html#comment-404152)
2 - ibid.
3 - The figures were obtained from Statistics New Zealand, detailing arrivals and departures, long and short term, over the last ten years. (http://www.stats.govt.nz/products-and-services/hot-off-the-press/external-migration/external-migration-dec07-hotp.htm?page=para004Master)
4 - Figures obtained from Statistics New Zealand, detailing migrationary trends from the 1970s to 2007, table 9.01 'Permanent and long term migration by citizenship.' (http://www.stats.govt.nz/tables/tourism-and-migration-2006.htm#plt)

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