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Immigration

New Zealand's foreign-born population

In 2001/02, 19.5 percent of people in New Zealand had been born overseas. Although this was well above the OECD average of 10.2 percent, it was significantly lower than the percentage recorded in Luxembourg, where the foreign-born population accounted for 33.0 percent of its total population. New Zealand had a similar proportion of foreign-born people to Australia, Switzerland, and Canada.

The foreign-born population varied widely among OECD countries in 2001/02, from a low of 0.5 percent in Mexico to a high of 33.0 percent in Luxembourg. Most central and eastern European countries had less than 5.0 percent of foreign-born people in their populations. 

A large group of OECD countries had around 10 to 12 percent of their population born elsewhere. All of these countries, with the exception of the United States, were in Europe.

 

Foreign-born Residents

 (Percentage of total population), 2001/02

  Percent
 OECD 19.5
 New Zealand 10.2

External migration

For many OECD countries international migration gains and losses are changeable over time. New Zealand had a net migration gain of 8.7 people per 1,000 population in 2003, whereas from 1990 to 2003 the average net migration gain was just 3.3 per 1,000 population. Over this same period, Luxembourg, Canada and Australia recorded the highest average net migration gains: 8.8, 5.6 and 5.1 people per 1,000 population, respectively.

Most OECD countries had much lower average net migration gains of less than 4 people per 1,000 population, with the average for 28 countries being a gain of 2.6 per 1,000 population.

 

Average Migration

(Net migration per 1,000 population), 1990-2003

  Population
 OECD 3.3
 New Zealand 2.6
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