Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Auckland more diverse than London and New York

Thirty-nine per cent of Auckland's population is born overseas - more than New York's. Photo / iStock
Thirty-nine per cent of Auckland's population is born overseas - more than New York's. Photo / iStock

Auckland is one of the world's most culturally diverse cities with the fourth most foreign-born population, an international study has found.

With 39 per cent of its population born overseas, the city is revealed to be more diverse than Sydney, Los Angeles, London and even New York.

The 2015 World Migration Report from the International Organisation for Migration looks at how international migrants and migration were shaping cities.

Only Dubai, Brussels, where foreign born residents outnumber local born, and Toronto are ranked as cities with more overseas-born people than Auckland.

The study found Auckland was doing well in settling migrants, and was recognised as one of the cities that was "paying increasing attention" to the role that migrants play.The report said these cities were "attempting to create an opportunity structure for natives and newcomers alike through partnerships with migrants, the private sector and civil society".

Auckland, with a population of about 1.4 million residents has more than 220 recorded ethnic groups living there, according to Statistics New Zealand.

"Auckland is doing well, given the rapidity with which the city has changed," said Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley.

"It relies upon immigrants who are skilled and well-educated to play a key role - which they do. They get on with life and settlement in a new country."

However, Professor Spoonley said Auckland has embraced diversity very differently to other super diverse cities.

"Toronto approaches diversity very proactively and include diversity in all sorts of policies, from the obvious tourism and events, to the less obvious planning, community participation," he said.

"New Zealand has a very relaxed and relatively non-interventionist approach, but so far it appears to be working."

- NZ Herald

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