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Christchurch's population decreases after earthquakes

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch city's resident population decreased by 8,900 people (2.4 percent) in the June 2011 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. This was due to a net migration loss (more departures than arrivals) of 10,600 people, partly offset by a natural increase (more births than deaths) of 1,700 people.

"This is the first official estimate of population change in Christchurch city, and across New Zealand's subnational areas, since the Canterbury earthquakes," acting Population Statistics manager Deb Potter said.

The 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes, along with a 22 percent rise in international migrant departures (people leaving New Zealand permanently or long-term), had a major impact on local population change in the June 2011 year.

For some parts of the country, population growth accelerated as people relocated from the earthquake-

affected areas. The five territorial authority areas with the fastest rate of population growth in the June 2011 year were the districts of Selwyn, Queenstown-Lakes, Ashburton, Waimakariri, and Hurunui. All of these districts are located in the South Island, with most close to Christchurch city.

However, for many parts of the country, population growth slowed as an increase in international migrant departures was only partly offset by an inflow of people from the earthquake-affected areas. Of New Zealand's 67 territorial authority areas, 43 had a lower level of net migration in the June 2011 year than in the previous June year. Of these 43 areas, 39 are located in the North Island.

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