Sharp increase in population

Last updated 08:43 24/07/2014

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The Manawatu region has seen a sharp increase in population gain in the past 12 months, with the number of people departing the region declining and arrivals increasing, a new report says.

There was a 30 per cent decline in the number of people leaving from the region to move overseas, Palmerston North City Council's monthly economic report says.

This was a significant improvement from June 2013, when the region experienced a net loss of 204 people from migration.

Palmerston North City Council economic policy adviser Peter Crawford said fewer people moving to Australia had been the main contributor.

"It's also about whether people think their job prospects are better here than in Australia.

"Hopefully that means people feel job prospects here are even better than elsewhere."

The improvement in net migration reflects a 7 per cent increase in the number of arrivals in the past 12 months, 1536 people arrived on a permanent or long-term basis (more than 12 months), according to data from Statistics New Zealand.

Manawatu Multicultural Centre co-ordinator Shantona Poduval said she had noticed an increase in migrants in Palmerston North during the past three years and linked it to educational institutes aiming marketing campaigns at foreign students.

Palmerston North Alliance Francaise president Isabelle Poff-Pencole said she had seen a significant increase in the past year.

"More and more young people are moving to Palmerston North to study.

"A lot of people that come for that end up getting work here and stay.

"It's easier to find a job here compared to other places."

Nationally, migrant arrival numbers were up 14 per cent and migrant departures were down 22 per cent compared to June 2013.

This resulted in a net gain of 38,300 migrants, the highest annual gain since the October 2003 year.

Net migration has been positive and mostly increasing since September 2012. The difference in the net gains recorded in September 2012 and June 2014 was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia and more non-New Zealand citizens arriving.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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