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Tamaki Makaurau –  In the wake of the covid pandemic, New Zealand’s population growth slowed down with Auckland recording a population decline for the first time ever, Stats NZ said today.

New Zealand saw slowing population growth in all regions. Covid international travel restrictions continued to curb population increases from international migration in the June 2021 year.

Nationally, the population growth rate dropped from 2.2 percent in the June 2020 year to 0.6 percent in the June 2021 year, the lowest it has been since the June 2012 year.

The population decreased in the Auckland, West Coast and Southland regions and other regions experienced lower growth. In contrast, all regions had population growth in the June 2020 year.

While the population decrease in the Auckland region was just 1,300 or 0.1 percent in 2021, this was still a significant change.

The Auckland region has averaged population growth of 1.8 percent a year over the previous 20 years, higher than the national average growth of 1.4 percent a year.

Auckland’s population is provisionally estimated as 1.72 million people at June 30, 2021.

The fastest growing regions in the June 2021 year were Northland with a growth rate of 1.9 percent and Tasman and Bay of Plenty, both growing at 1.5 percent.

The population growth in these three regions was mainly driven by people moving there from other areas of the country.

Although Auckland region’s population declined slightly overall, its northernmost and southernmost areas still grew significantly.

Outside Auckland, the territorial authority area with the largest population growth was Selwyn district, up 3400 people or 4.8 percent. This was followed by Tauranga, up 3,100 or 2.0 percent and the Waikato district up 2200 or 2.6 percent.

The increases in areas with the largest population growth were generally driven by migration from other areas of New Zealand. However, Hamilton city’s growth was largely due to natural increase, which is births minus deaths.