Settlement Patterns and the Geographic Mobility of Recent Migrants to New Zealand
Where do Recent Migrants Settle?
This section begins by examining where recent migrants initially settle. Previous studies on the US have shown that migrants are more geographically clustered than native-born individuals in both the 1980s and 1990s (Bartel 1989; Chiswick and Miller 2004). We begin by examining whether this is also the case for New Zealand. Figure 1 illustrates the percentage of recent migrants out of the overall recent migrant population in each of the 58 LMAs relative to the percentage of the NZ-born out of the overall NZ-born population in each of these LMAs in 1986, 1991 and 2001. Darker shaded LMAs have greater concentrations of recent migrants. The Auckland, South Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown LMAs have a higher relative population of recent migrants in all three years. The only other LMAs with a higher relative population of recent migrants are Kerikeri, Hutt Valley, Whangarei and New Plymouth, all only in 1986. Wellington had the greatest concentration of recent migrants in 1986, with Auckland having the greatest concentration in 1996 and 2001. Over time, there has been an increasing concentration of recent migrants in Auckland and South Auckland and a decreasing concentration in most other LMAs.
The Geographic Concentration of Migrants and the New Zealand-born
We next examine the geographic concentration of migrants and the New Zealand-born. The concentration of different population groups can be measured by calculating a geographic Herfindahl index for each group in each year, Hit, where and θitj is the share of population group i that is located in LMA j in year t. The Herfindahl index has the range [0.0003,1], with larger values of the index indicating that a population group is more geographically concentrated. For example, a value of 1 indicates that an entire group's population is located in just one LMA. Table 3 presents aggregate Herfindahl indices for recent migrants, earlier migrants and the NZ-born in 1986, 1996 and 2001, and Herfindahl indices for sub-groups of each migrant group defined by gender, age, qualifications, ethnicity and region of birth. The aggregate Herfindahl index is considerably higher for both recent and earlier migrants than for the NZ-born and migrants have become more geographically concentrated over time. For example, the Herfindahl index is 0.12 for recent migrants in 1986, increasing to 0.21 in 1996 and 2001 and, for earlier migrants, it is 0.13 in 1986, 0.18 in 1996 and 0.20 in 2001, while for the NZ-born it remains steady at 0.06 in all three years.
Within migrant groups, there is little variation in geographic concentration for men versus women or for different age-groups in any year. Among the NZ-born, individuals with university degrees are more geographically concentrated in each year than all other individuals, while among recent and earlier migrants, individuals with post-school qualifications and university degrees are generally less geographically concentrated than those with less qualifications. There is large variation in geographic concentration for different ethnic groups. Among the NZ-born, Pacific Islanders, Asians and Others are more geographically concentrated than European/Pakeha and Māori and these three ethnic groups have become increasingly concentrated over time. Recent and earlier migrants in all ethnic groups are generally more geographically concentrated than comparable NZ-born. Pacific Island and Asian migrants (except in 1986) are particularly concentrated.
There is large variation in the geographic concentration of migrants from different regions, with individuals born in Western Europe, Northern Europe, Australia, the British Isles and North America less geographically concentrated than the average migrant and individuals born in South-Eastern Europe, the Pacific Islands, Southern and Central Asia (except in 1986), North-East Asia (except in 1986) and Eastern Europe more geographically concentrated than the average migrant. Regardless of region of birth, migrants are more concentrated than the NZ-born in each year. There are no systematic changes in geographic concentration over time for migrants from different regions.
We now examine the mobility of earlier migrants. This is essential an analysis of resettlement decisions for recent migrants after they have been in New Zealand for five years. As previously noted, recent migrants who have either temporarily or permanently left New Zealand in the next five years or have died are not included in this analysis. All individuals in the census are asked to report their address five years ago or to check a particular box if they have not changed their addresses in the past five years or if they were overseas five years ago. We use this information to code whether each individual has changed LMAs since the previous census.
Table 4 examines the mobility of earlier migrants and the NZ-born between 1981 and 1986, 1991 and 1996, and 1996 and 2001. Between 1-2% of earlier migrants and the NZ-born are missing their address from five years ago in 1986, 8-9% are missing this in 1996, and 7% are missing this in 2001. Earlier migrants are more mobile than the NZ-born in each of the three years being examined. For example, in 1986, 72% of earlier migrants remain in the same LMA as in 1981, while 82% of the NZ-born are in the same LMA. Among the movers, 63% of earlier migrants are in a different LMA (17 out of 27% percent) and the remainder are overseas, while 82% of the NZ-born are in a different LMA (15 out of 18 percent) and the remainder are overseas. In 1996, 4% fewer earlier migrants remain in the same LMA than the NZ-born, with a similar percentage of both earlier migrants and the NZ-born in different LMAs five years ago (78-79%) versus being overseas. The mobility gap between earlier migrants and the NZ-born increased to 5% in 2001, and as in 1986, a greater proportion of earlier migrant movers than NZ-born movers are overseas five years ago (28% vs 16%).
Characteristics of LMAs in which Recent and Earlier Migrants are Living
We next examine the characteristics of LMAs in which recent and earlier migrants are living and compare these to the distribution of characteristics across all 58 LMAs. A number of previous studies on the US have found that the density of migrant networks is a key determinant of where migrants settle (Bartel 1989; Funkhouser 2000; Jaeger 2007; Zavodny 1999). These network are typically defined as the percent of a local population that is foreign-born and/or from the same country as a particular migrant. Thus, we consider two definitions of migrant networks in our analysis: i) the proportion of immigrants from an individual's region of birth in each LMA five years ago out of the total population of immigrants from that region five years ago (defined over the fifteen regions in Table 1); and ii) the proportion of each LMA's population that is foreign-born five years ago. We also examine four measures of the socioeconomic characteristics of each LMA: i) the employment rate five years ago; ii) the mean log income of full-time wage and salary workers five years ago (our proxy of local wage rates); iii) the log mean house price five years ago; and iv) the log population five years ago. We measure these characteristics five-years prior to the current census so that they reflect the conditions in each LMA prior to the arrival of the current group of recent migrants.
Table 5 presents summary statistics for the LMAs in which recent and earlier migrants are living and for all 58 LMAs, equally weighted. For example, the first row illustrates that the average recent migrant in 1996 lives in a LMA that had 18% of the overall population of migrants from the same region of birth living in it in 1991, while the average LMA in 1996 has a same region of birth migrant density of 2% in 1991 averaged across all regions of birth. Overall, recent and earlier migrants live in LMAs with similar same region of birth migrant network density (18-19% in 1996 and 21% in 2001) and both live in LMAs with 9-10 times higher levels of same region of birth migrant density than the average LMA (2% in both years). Migrants also generally live in LMAs that had larger proportions of foreign-born individuals five years ago. For example, the average recent and earlier migrant in 1996 (2001) lives in a LMA with a 26% (28%) foreign-born population in 1991 (1996). In contrast, 12% (13%) of individuals in the average LMA are foreign-born in 1996 (2001).
Turning to the economic characteristics of LMAs, the average recent and earlier migrant in both 1996 and 2001 lives in a LMA with a similar employment rate five years earlier as the mean employment rate across all LMAs. On the other hand, these migrants live in LMAs that, on average, have approximately 18% higher mean log income for full-time wage and salary workers than the average LMA in each year. Migrants also live in LMAs with much higher house prices than the average LMA. For example, the average recent and earlier migrant in 1996 lives in a LMA with nearly a 70% higher mean house price than the average LMA in 1991 and the average recent and earlier migrant in 2001 lives in a LMA with an approximately 80% higher mean house price than the average LMA in 1996. The most striking difference is that recent and earlier migrants live in LMAs that are, on average, much larger in population than the average LMA. In fact, the average recent and earlier migrant in 1996 (2001) lives in a LMA that, in 1991 (1996), was 10 (11) times larger than the average LMA.
Overall, these descriptive results show that recent and earlier migrants live in highly concentrated locations compared to the NZ-born and that earlier migrants are more mobile than the NZ-born and are more likely to have been overseas at the time of the previous census. These results also show that recent and earlier migrants are more likely to live in LMAs that have denser networks of migrants from the same region of birth, larger foreign-born populations and larger populations, in general. There is also weak evidence that these migrants are more likely to live in areas with better economic opportunities, in particular, in LMAs with higher average wages.
However, these findings do not provide direct evidence of the impact of say, LMA population, on the likelihood that a migrant chooses to live in a particular LMA, because all of the examined variables are co-related with each other. For example, larger LMAs typically have a greater percentage of the population that is foreign-born and have denser migrant networks. In the next section, we extend our descriptive analysis by estimating multivariate locational choice regression models. These models allow us to examine the independent effect of each local area characteristic on the locational choice of recent and earlier migrants, controlling for the impact of all other characteristics. These models also allow us to examine whether the locational choice of migrants depends more on the characteristics of all individuals in a LMA or on the characteristics of individuals from the same region of birth and/or age and education as a particular individual.
 More accurately, we examine where they live at the time of census, which can be between 1 day and 4 years and 364 days after they initially arrive in New Zealand. Thus, for some recent migrants we are not examining their initial settlement decision. Unfortunately, the census does not collect any data on mobility between each census.
 It is worth noting that these differences are likely to be related to differences in the characteristics of earlier migrants and the NZ-born as age, gender and qualifications are typically correlated with individual mobility.
 Individuals are defined as earlier migrants based on the answer to the question “In what year did you first arrive in New Zealand”. Thus, we are able to identify individuals that report first arriving in New Zealand between 5 and 10 years ago, but also report being overseas at the time of the previous census.
 It is worth noting that each of these measures has a different denominator and thus can vary independently.
 Local house prices are calculated using a dataset provided by Quotable Value NZ. The annual mean house price per area unit is aggregated to the LMA level, weighting by the number of house sales in each area unit.
 The summary statistics for recent and earlier migrants are calculated using an approximate 10% sample for each group that is also used for all regression analyses.