Regional Migration to Hamilton City

Benje Patterson analysed the effects of regional migration on Hamilton’s population. The locations from which people were moving to and from Hamilton were identified, as were the most likely age groups to move.

A full copy of the report is available for download here.

What was the project?

Benje Patterson Economics conducted a detailed analysis into regional migration to Hamilton. The purpose was to understand how the population demographics within Hamilton have changed over recent years and what this may mean for the future. This report was commissioned by Hamilton City Council.

How was the project useful?

Hamilton City Council commissioned this report to understand how the city’s population demographics are evolving in response to people moving into the city from elsewhere in New Zealand. Knowing who is living in the area allows the council to better represent and design policies and actions that benefit the population.

Key questions that were addressed in this report include:

  1. How important is migration from other parts of New Zealand for Hamilton’s population growth?
  2. Where are people moving from?
  3. How are the age demographics changing as a result of people moving to Hamilton?

What were the key findings?

The key findings of the report were that:

  • Hamilton’s population has grown at a faster rate than the Waikato Region and the national average recently.
  • Regional migration drove approximately one third of Hamilton’s population growth.
  • The largest contributor to Hamilton’s regional migration came from Auckland, where unaffordable housing has forced people into the regions.
    • Many other contributors to regional migration were from surrounding areas to Hamilton.
  • Waikato and Waipa Districts were the most popular places to leave Hamilton City for, followed by Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.
  • By age groups, regional migration rates to Hamilton varied:
    • There were net regional migration gains for people aged 15-19 years old, moving to Hamilton for education or training purposes.
    • Further gains are seen with young families and people entering retirement.
  • Hamilton had a higher proportion of residents moving around the city than the average across New Zealand. About 13.8% of Hamilton residents moved within the city, compared to 9.6% of people moving locally in other parts of New Zealand in 2017.

A full copy of the report is available for download here. Get in touch if you are interested in learning about the role of migration to your local area from other parts of New Zealand.