Babies and visitors make us grow

The estimated resident population of New Zealand was 4,331,600 at 30 September 2009, according to a recently released report from Statistics New Zealand.

The population increased by 51,700 (1.2 percent) in the September 2009 year, the highest growth in three years. In the September 2008 year, the population increased by 39,900 (0.9 percent).

Although the main contribution to population growth during the September 2009 year came from natural increase (excess of births over deaths), the higher growth compared with the September 2008 year was due to increased net migration.

Natural increase contributed 34,700, down 800 on the previous September year. Permanent and long-term arrivals exceeded departures by 17,000 in the latest year, up from a net migration gain of 4,400 in the September 2008 year.

The age composition of New Zealand’s population has changed over the past decade, due to population ageing. The proportion of children (aged 0-14 years) has fallen, as has that of young people aged 15-39 years. In contrast, the proportion of people aged 40 and over has increased, a trend also occurring in other countries.