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Christchurch population loss is down as fewer leave shaky city

Nov 18th, 2012 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, News

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STATISTICS New Zealand has revealed that in the period since the Christchurch earthquakes, the city’s population aged 20–34 years decreased by only 1.5 per cent.

The city’s residents continued to go down over the past year, however, the overall population loss nearly halved in comparison to the year before.

Since the earthquakes the numbers have gone down from 376,700 to 363,139, between June 2010 and June 2012, a drop of 3.6 per cent.

The loss of 1,200 young people indicates there have been some inflows of workers said population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn.

However, she said fewer young adults had arrived for study.

“There are some interesting differences across age groups, there was a net outflow of children and their parents from Christchurch after the earthquake, and fewer young adults arrived for study,” she said.

Megan Barnes, 21, from Blenheim, was an exception to this, starting her studies in Christchurch at the beginning of 2012.

“I was supposed to be starting mid semester in 2011, but I changed my mind after the February earthquake. I was happy with my decision to move to Christchurch this year,” said Miss Barnes.

CLEANING UP: The Student Volunteer Army picks up the pieces after the earthquakes.

“I wasn’t scared of the earthquakes, I was actually more excited to feel one because I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually felt one in Blenheim,” she said.

While Megan is concerned about another earthquake in Christchurch, she believes the worst of them is now over.

Primary school teaching graduate Thomas Straker, 22, who was in Christchurch during both earthquakes, is optimistic about his future in the city.

“I would like to stay in Canterbury because I’d like to be a part of the next years, because it is going to be moving forward, rather than backward.

“Especially with all the schools merging and that sort of thing, it’s going to affect some schools badly, but there is going to be positives that come out of it as well,” said Mr Straker.

Statistics New Zealand said it was important to realise that population growth had been low throughout most of the country in the June 2012 year.

“The patterns of population change have to be seen in the context of the nation’s overall population growth, which at 0.6 per cent was the lowest since 2001,” said Mrs Blackburn.

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