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Department of Internal Affairs releases 2018 citizenship stats

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A total of 49,428 New Zealand citizenships, by grant or descent, were registered in 2018.

Department of Internal Affairs records show that there were:

- 35,737 new citizens, by grant, to those who have migrated to New Zealand, and

- 13,691 new citizens, by descent, to those born overseas to a New Zealand citizen.

In 2018, new citizens by grant were born in a total of 203 different countries, including Bermuda, Djibouti and Honduras.

Similar to 2017, the majority of new Kiwi citizens by grant were born in the United Kingdom, followed closely by those born in India. While the latter increased by 180, the number of applications from UK-born citizens dropped by almost 500, a substantial difference.

Countries such as Fiji, Samoa, South Africa and China again ranked highly in 2018. Sri Lanka, which was tenth equal with Australia in 2017, did not make the top 10 this year.

New Zealanders are also giving birth to new Kiwis all over the world, from Luxembourg to Lithuania. It is now even easier for people to check their eligibility and apply online, whether they are here in New Zealand or based overseas.

Australia is still the most common country of birth, with almost 8,000 new Kiwis registered. Second most common is the United Kingdom, with just over 1,500. The two most common countries, by descent, have remained unchanged since 2015.

Jeff Montgomery, General Manager Services and Access, says that citizenship records often hint at interesting stories.

"In 1996, a request to register New Zealand citizenship by descent was received for an individual born on board an aircraft. Unsurprisingly, this has only happened once in the past 26 years!"

"The data gives you a bit of a snapshot at history, too. For example, West Germany was recorded as a place of birth for one particular application."

Citizenship numbers also reflect New Zealand’s diverse cultural make up.

"We’re one of a small handful of super-diverse countries in the world, which means our country is home to an extremely varied range of cultures and languages. New Zealand has more than 200 distinct ethnic communities," explains Mr Montgomery.

Among OECD countries, New Zealand is the fifth most ethnically diverse with 25 per cent of the total population being born overseas. Studies show that our diversity will continue to grow over the next few years.

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