This article updates trends in the re-enrolment of school students from Christchurch and surrounding areas following the quake in February.
After consistently declining since mid-March, the numberof student re-enrolments has spiked again following the school holidays inApril. Total re-enrolments have now reached 10,206, up by 543 from before theschool holidays. Graph 1 shows that total re-enrolments are now equivalent to13.4% of students from the quake zone.
The start of the new school term has also seen a lift inthe number of students returning to their original school, with 36% ofre-enrolled students now back at the school they were attending before thequake. Once we account for re-enrolments within the quake zone and atcorrespondence school, Graph 2 shows that 6.3% of the quake zone’s school-agepopulation is still in other parts of the country.
Our other graphs show little change in the regionalpopulation trends over the last few weeks. Christchurch now has the highestnumber of re-enrolled students who are still away from their original school. This figure reflects population movements within the city, with people movingaway from the more heavily affected eastern suburbs. Since our last update inmid-April, Christchurch and Waimakariri are the only areas to have recorded adefinite increase in the number of re-enrolled students that are still awayfrom their original school.
The latest data also shows that 38.1% of students whore-enrolled within the South Island have now returned to their original school,compared with a 28.3% return rate from the North Island. The South Islandfigure is significantly higher if the quake zone is excluded, highlighting thetemporary nature of many re-enrolments within the South Island, compared with(at this stage) more permanent re-enrolments within Christchurch.
International migration data for March has confirmed ourview that permanent departures from the quake zone would spike following thedisaster. The number of permanent departures from Christchurch, Waimakaririand Selwyn was up 686 people, or 115%, from March last year. Permanent arrivalnumbers were also lower. Once we adjust for the nationwide trend in netmigration, which has been weakening since early 2010, we estimate that thequake had lowered net migration by about 675 people by the end of March.
Temporary departure numbers for people heading overseasfrom the quake zone also rose sharply in March and were up 36% from a year ago. We estimate that around 6,300 more people from the area headed overseas for aholiday in March than would have otherwise been the case. As we mentioned inour previous update, it is possible that some proportion of people intending toleave for less than 12 months do not end up returning to New Zealand. However,with a lack of regional data available on holidaymakers returning to thecountry, we are unable to quantify this effect.
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