Over the coming 50 years, New Zealand will see a flood of ‘significant changes’ hitting the country – says a government report.
And the issues should make potential expats think twice about whether they should emigrate and for those already there, whether they should stay.
Published by New Zealand’s National Statistics Office, the report says the country’s workforce will expand at a much slower rate in the next half century than in the previous 50 years.
This will hit GDP growth, but not worker’s income.
A number of other issues are also flagged, including an ageing population reducing the number of workers and too few expats arriving to make up the shortfall.
In addition, the country is facing a potential issue in that its own young workers are leaving, primarily for Australia.
Youngsters heading overseas
The report states: “An ageing population will have significant implications on the demand and cost of public services.
“The costs on New Zealand’s health service and pension spending will be substantial.”
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently announced New Zealand’s productivity growth is expected to continue increasing.
However, a recent government report points out that GDP growth was 2.7% between 1995 and 2011, but is expected to drop to 2.6% between 2013 and 2060.
The report also highlights fluctuations in the country’s migration pattern, which has a mix of net gains and losses.
Net gains are measured by more people coming into the country than leaving – but in New Zealand’s case, immigrants in the 30+ age bracket are moving in, but 18-24 year olds are moving abroad to pursue careers.
Concerns over ageing population
The report also highlights that a real issue facing the country in the next 20 years is a huge increase in the number of people aged 65 and over, which will bring increased welfare and health costs.
This increase will undoubtedly, says the report, hit the GDP growth of the country because fewer people of working age will be employed.
Caring for the influx of immigrants who have helped double the country’s population since 1970 is a major concern for the future.
The most recent figures for New Zealand’s population are from September 2012, when the population grew by 27,200 (0.6%). That was made up of a natural increase of 30,400 and a net migration loss of 3,300.
There are now 4.44 million people living in the country and the average age for men is 35.7 years, while women are slightly older at 38.2 years.