Sunday, June 21, 2009

Migrants to New Zealand

Want to know more about the people migrating to New Zealand? A branch of the Department of Immigration, in conjunction with NZ Statistics, is doing three 'waves' of research to see how new migrants are settling in. The first wave has been completed (at six months), with research covering some 7,000 new migrants. The two follow-up waves will be completed at 18 months and three years respectively.
Some of the highlights from the first report, entitled, New Faces, New Futures: New Zealand,” are as follows:
  • The median age of migrants is 34 years. Most migrants are under 45, with 36 percent aged 25–34. Overall, 52 percent of migrants are female and 48 percent were male.

  • The four main ethnic groups of migrants are European (42 percent), Chinese (15 percent), South African (9 percent), and Indian (8 percent).

  • Over half of all migrants live in the Auckland region, with the Canterbury and Wellington regions the next most popular.

  • Fifty-eight percent of migrants are approved through skilled migration categories.

  • The main region of origin of migrants is the United Kingdom/ Republic of Ireland (32 percent), followed by North Asia (18 percent) and the Pacific (12 percent). Business migrants are predominantly from North Asia (63 percent).

  • A notable proportion of migrants from the UK/ Republic of Ireland (18 percent) and the rest of Europe (18 percent) settled in Canterbury. A high proportion of North American migrants (21 percent) settled in Wellington.

  • Fifty-nine percent of migrants speak English as their main language or as a language they speak best, while a further 27 percent report having good or very good English language skills.

  • After English, the most common languages spoken best by new migrants were Chinese languages followed by Hindi.

  • Migrants who are more proficient in English are more likely to establish relationships with friends outside their own ethnic group than are migrants with poor English language ability.

  • About a quarter of the European migrants (excluding UK/ Republic of Ireland migrants) report English as a language they speak best. Nearly 70 percent of this group report having good or very good English language skills. Fifty-three percent of South Asian migrants report English as a language they speak best.

  • Sixty-five percent of all migrants speak more than one language, with people from South Africa, North Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific reporting fluency in two languages. About half of the migrants from the rest of Europe and South Asia report speaking three or more languages.

  • The most important reasons for migrants to choose New Zealand are the relaxed pace of life or lifestyle (44 percent), the climate or clean green environment (40 percent), and the opportunity to provide a better future for their children (39 percent).

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