(Updates with tourist arrivals in fifth paragraph.)
Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- More migrants left New Zealand than arrived for the ninth month in the past 10, extending the biggest exodus in a decade, after residents were uprooted by an earthquake in the South Island city of Christchurch.
Permanent departures exceeded arrivals by 520 in December, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington today. There were 1,855 net departures in the 12 months through December, up from 568 in the year ended Nov. 30.
Christchurch was devastated by a Feb. 22 temblor that killed 181 people, wrecked homes and closed many businesses in the nation’s second-largest city. Falling migration adds to signs New Zealand’s economy isn’t able to match the job opportunities and wages of many overseas nations including Australia.
Departures of New Zealand citizens rose 30 percent in 2011, with those headed to Australia surging 43 percent to a record, today’s report showed.
Short-term visitor arrivals increased 5.4 percent from December 2010, the report showed. Arrivals in the year ended Dec. 31 rose 3 percent from the year earlier.
--Editors: Garfield Reynolds, Brendan Murray
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