Summary results from the 2021 and 2022 Migrant Surveys

Most migrants are settling well in New Zealand.

Recent migrants are mostly satisfied with living in New Zealand
Bar graph showing showing recent migrants' satisfaction with living in New Zealand

In 2022, 85% of recent migrants were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with living in New Zealand. This compares with the 2021 result of 90%.

Please note: Some proportions in this commentary may differ from those presented in the graphs due to rounding.

Almost three-quarters of recent migrants feel that New Zealand is their home
Bar graph showing percentage of migrants that feel New Zealand is their home

In 2022, 71% of recent migrants reported that they felt like New Zealand was their home either ‘completely’ or ‘a lot’. This result is similar to the 2021 result of 74%, which was the highest result recorded since this question was first asked in the survey in 2014.

9 out of 10 recent migrants feel welcome in the community they live in
Visualisation made up of bodies that shows the percentage of migrants that feel welcome in the community.

While 91% of migrants reported feeling ‘quite welcome’ or ‘very welcome’ in the community they were living in, 6% reported feeling ‘not that welcome’/‘not at all welcome’.

The majority of migrants speak English very well
Block graph showing the percentage of migrants that speak English well

In 2022, 91% of recent migrants reported they could have a conversation about everyday things in English either ‘well’ or ‘very well’. This proportion has remained relatively steady over the past 5 years.

New Zealand continues to attract highly skilled migrants
Bar graph showing the percentage of migrants with qualifications

In 2022, 65% of recent migrants held a university qualification, with approximately half of these migrants having a postgraduate qualification or higher. There has been a steady increase over time in recent migrants to New Zealand having postgraduate qualifications (up from 21% in 2015 to 33% in 2022).

Some recent migrant employees are not receiving their minimum employment entitlements
Chart showing the percentages of migrants not receiving their minimum employment entitlements

Recent migrant employees were asked questions about their employment rights and relationship with their employer. While most migrants responded positively, some migrants had experienced poor working conditions.

Survey details

A total of 5,594 respondents completed the 2022 Migrant Survey and the overall survey response rate was 35%. The survey results were weighted to represent the migrant population in New Zealand at the time of sample selection (November 2022). Migrants who met all of the following criteria at the date of sample selection were eligible to take part in the survey:

  • aged 18 years or over
  • onshore in New Zealand
  • their current visa was approved under the Skilled/Business Stream (Principal and Secondary applicants), a Family category (Family Partnership and Family Parent) or a Work Stream (Essential Skills, Family, Post-study Work, Work to Residence, Working Holiday Scheme and Other)
  • had spent at least 6 months and no more than 5 years, in total, in New Zealand on a resident, work, or student visa prior to sample selection
  • had spent at least 50% of their total elapsed time in New Zealand since their first arrival on a resident, work, or student visa prior to the sample selection date.

The sample for the Migrant Survey was broadened from 2021 onwards to reflect the changing mix of migrants onshore. This means that the more recent survey results are not strictly comparable with previous years’ results, as many of the 2021 and 2022 survey respondents would have spent more time onshore in New Zealand than respondents to previous years’ surveys. However, the more recent survey results better reflect the views of our current migrant population.

Last updated: 31 October 2023