Keeping tabs on Christchurch’s population – update August 16
This article updates trends in the re-enrolment of school students from Christchurch and surrounding areas following the quake in February.
Student re-enrolment numbers had fallen away to about 80 students per week towards the end of the second school term but have risen again as the third term has started. Graph 1 shows that total re-enrolments are now equivalent to 15.4% of students from the quake zone.
Most critically, though, there has only been a total of three students return to their original school over the last four weeks. Graph 2 shows that the proportion of the quake zone’s school-age population that was still in other parts of the country reached a low of 3.6% in early July, but has since risen back to 3.9%.
Since our last update in May, there has been a substantial reduction in the number of re-enrolled students in most other parts of the country. Hurunui and Kaikoura, which at their peak had a boost to student numbers of over 23%, now have increased student numbers of just 6.4% and 4.0% respectively as a result of people leaving the quake zone. Re-enrolment numbers within Christchurch have continued to increase, however, as people have moved around the city following the destruction of residential property in February’s quake.
Graph 6 shows the continued increase in the proportion of students heading back to their original school from various parts of the country between May and early July. However, the proportion of re-enrolments from within the South Island and the quake zone has actually fallen over the last month.
Graph 7 shows permanent international arrival and departure numbers from the quake zone relative to the nationwide trend. There was a big spike in international departures from the quake zone in March. Between April and June, the number of people heading overseas from the quake zone June has moderated somewhat, but is still well above the normal nationwide trend. Total departure numbers since the quake have been above the nationwide trend by a total of about 1,090 people.
Arrival numbers have been below normal by a total of about 745 people since February. Adding the lift in departures to the drop in arrivals means that net international migration flows from the quake zone have reduced the area’s population by about 1,835 people over the last five months.
The spike in temporary departure numbers (eg people heading overseas for a holiday) that occurred in March has not been sustained, suggesting that permanent migration figures are not markedly understating the number of people heading offshore from Christchurch and the surrounding areas.