Immigration: N Z has the fastest growing population in OECD

The word immigration is likely to spark a reaction, depending which side of the welcoming gate you stand.

On Sunday, Duncan Garner faced a torrent of abuse, including being labelled a racist, following a column calling for New Zealand to curb immigration.

Winston Peters and his party, NZ First, want to cut the number of people coming into the country – with their policy likely to be on the table in coalition negotiations this week.

And as the attention on immigration fuels fierce debate online, we decided to put some of the common claims made by politicians and social commentators under the microscope.

New Zealand’s migrant community is growing faster than ever

This year’s net gain of migrants was 72,000, and New Zealand’s population grew by 100,400 to the June 2017 year.

Stats NZ produces population projections ranging from low to high, depending on different rates of fertility, mortality and migration.

The medium projection – considered to be the most plausible – is for the population to be 5.5 million by 2038.

The 6.3m figure is the ‘high’ projection and assumes there is high fertility rates, low mortality rates and high net migration. Under the ‘low’ projection the population would rise to 4.8m by 2038.

A population growth rate of 2.1 per cent made us the 59th fastest growing country in the world in 2016. Most of the countries with faster rates of growth are in Africa.

New Zealand does have the fastest rate of population growth amongst the OECD countries we generally measure ourselves against. Only Ireland (2.04 per cent) comes close.

Too many migrants cuts local wages

Not according to Hayden Glass, an economist and co-author of Going Places, a book about the economic contribution of migration to and from New Zealand.

“It’s often talked about that immigration has an effect on wages, which makes sense as migrants increase supply,” said Glass.

“But when you look at the economic evidence … we found that it does not impact local wages

How could this be? While they add to the labour supply, migrants also increase the demand, he said. Continue reading


Additional reading

News category: Features.

Tags: , ,