Wellington Migration Trends 2023

Wellington Migration Trends 2023 | Grace NZ Blog

While Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand, it has the charm and friendliness of a large country town. Ideally situated on the southern end of the North Island, it has the best of both worlds. It’s backed by towering mountains and sits right on the harbour with plenty of sandy beaches.

Known as the ‘Windy City’ thanks to the winds blowing in from the Cook Strait, Wellington has all the amenities that you need while still possessing a friendly and welcoming vibe.


2023 Migration Trends for New Zealand as a whole 

2023 was a record year for migration in New Zealand. By December 2023, migrant arrivals totalled 227,990 while departures totalled just 105,419. This resulted in a net migration figure of 122,571.


Migration Trends for the Wellington Region 

While many migrants will flock to Auckland to settle, a report published by the Greater Wellington Regional Council in 2016 suggested that around 23.1 per cent of all migrants settled in Wellington or the general region in 2013. This is projected to rise to 27.1 per cent in 2031.

So, if we take an average of around 25 per cent of all international migrants settling in Wellington, this would have amounted to an additional influx of 56,998 migrants in 2023.

This is quite a large increase of migrant arrivals compared to the statistics of 2021 when there were only 4,224 arrivals and around 5,883 departures.

The increase in international migration to New Zealand in general, and the Wellington region in particular, can largely be attributed to the need for skilled workers due to labour shortages and the immigration policy of New Zealand and other countries.

The majority of the non-NZ migrants came from countries such as India, China, the Philippines, South Africa and Fiji.


Domestic Migration Trends for Wellington 

It’s common for domestic migration in New Zealand that people residing in the North Island are more likely to remain in the same region or move to a nearby region also on the North Island.

On the other hand, many people residing on the South Island were likely to move to the North Island with only around 71% staying on the South Island.

In 2022, for example, Wellington saw a relatively high influx of domestic migrants from the South Island thanks to its closer proximity.


What does this mean for Wellington in 2024? 

Projections indicate that international migration will continue to increase year-on-year with 2024 having a slightly higher migration rate than 2023.

The report published by the Greater Wellington Regional Council estimates that by 2031, around 27.1 per cent of Wellington’s population will be made up of non-New Zealand-born residents compared to 72.9 per cent of New Zealand-born residents.

While this is good news for the growth of the region, it may still not be enough to fill the labour shortages that may occur over the next 8 years. However, the diverse range of people choosing to call Wellington home should result in some interesting cultural advantages for the region.


Grace Removals are experts in relocations to Wellington domestically and internationally, contact us to find out how we can help.


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