Story: History of immigration

Foreign-born people in New Zealand, 1986–2013

Move the mouse over the lines on the graph to see the population figures. Click on a region of birth in the key to remove that line from the graph; click on the region again to restore it.

In 1987 a new immigration act changed the entry requirements for New Zealand. From that date they were based firmly on skills, not ethnicity. The introduction of a points system in 1991 strengthened the skills criterion. Subsequently there was a dramatic increase in the numbers of immigrants from non-British countries. This graph shows the numbers of foreign-born at successive censuses and excludes those born in Britain or Ireland. The rise in the number of Asian-born people is especially clear.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: New Zealand census, 1986–2013

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'History of immigration - Multi-cultural New Zealand: 1991 onwards', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/graph/2161/foreign-born-people-in-new-zealand-1986-2013 (accessed 18 June 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 Aug 2015