Story: Population change

Migration, natural increase and population change, 1865–2015

This graph shows the contribution that net migration and natural increase have made to New Zealand's population from 1865 to 2005. Total growth figures are arrived at by adding net migration (people coming in minus people leaving) and natural increase (births minus deaths) together. Total growth trended upwards overall, despite decreases in some periods.

Natural increase took over from migration as the main factor in population growth from the 1870s. However, migration remained important. Significant net migration gains occurred throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Net migration losses (when emigration exceeded immigration) also occurred. These periods are shown by the migration line dipping below the horizontal axis.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Sources: T. Papps, ‘Growth and distribution of population.’ In Population of New Zealand / Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 12, 2 vols. New York: United Nations, 1985, vol. 1, tables 7 & 15; Ian Pool, Te iwi Maori. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1991; Statistics New Zealand

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ian Pool and Natalie Jackson, 'Population change - Migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/graph/28726/migration-natural-increase-and-population-change-1865-2015 (accessed 15 December 2019)

Story by Ian Pool and Natalie Jackson, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 23 Aug 2018 with assistance from Natalie Jackson