WELLINGTON, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Annual migrant departures exceeded migrant arrivals among non-New Zealand citizens for the first time since the late 1970s due to COVID-19 related border restrictions, New Zealand's statistics department Stats NZ said on Wednesday.
In one year ending February 2021, a provisional net loss of 1,400 non-New Zealand citizens and a net gain of 18,900 New Zealand citizens made up an overall net migration gain of 17,400, Stats NZ said.
"Historically, New Zealand has had an annual net migration gain of non-New Zealand citizens and an annual net migration loss of New Zealand citizens," population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said in a statement.
"Although the annual net loss of non-New Zealand citizens is small, it's a significant reversal of the pattern over the last 40 years," Islam said.
February 2021 is the 11th consecutive month with a net migration loss of non-New Zealand citizens, due to COVID-19 travel and border restrictions. In contrast, there has been a net migration gain of New Zealand citizens in each month from August 2019 to February 2021, said the official.
The annual net migration loss of non-New Zealand citizens is made up of 22,400 arrivals and 23,800 departures. Of these arrivals, about half arrived in the month of March 2020, before the first full month of COVID-19-related border restrictions in April 2020, showed statistics.