Queensland has come out on top of all Australian states and territories in terms of interstate migration net gains, with more than 100,000 people having moved to the Sunshine State in the five years before the 2021 Census.
The net gain, which represents nearly 2 per cent of the state’s entire population, was by far the largest nationwide, followed by Tasmania with a net gain of more than 15,000 people and the Australian Capital Territory with more than 10,000.
On the other end of the spectrum, New South Wales saw the largest net loss with more than 102,000 people moving out of the state, while just under 10,000 people left Victoria for other states or territories.
South Australia recorded a net loss of 1,618 people, WA a loss of 6,711 and the NT lost 13,435 to other jurisdictions.
According to Census program manager Mark Harding, the majority of Australians did not move their place of residence at all in the five years prior to the 2021 national survey.
“Census data captures the characteristics of people who’ve moved, allowing us, in turn to gain a better understanding of why they moved,” Harding said.
“53 per cent of the population did not move home in the last five years. Of those who did move the majority (87 per cent) moved within the same state. Only one in ten moved to a different state.”
Harding added that the median age of people who moved within Australia between 2016 and 2021 was 33 years old, and they were more likely to rent than non-movers.
Conversely, the median age of non-movers was 49, and they were more likely to own their house outright or with a mortgage.
The occupations with the highest proportion of movers was those in the defence force, sales and PR professionals and special care workers. Those working in livestock or in toolmaking services were the least likely to have moved in the five years prior to the Census.
“This data suggests that people are moving for housing suitability and affordability as well as employment opportunities and then settling down later in life,” Harding said.
Over the five-year period to 2021, there was a net loss of 160,100 people from Australia’s capital cities. This was a significantly greater loss than in 2016 and 2011, where there was a net loss of 43,000 people and 72,200 people respectively.
The flow of people moving out of capital city areas to regional areas was intensified during COVID-19. In the one-year period before the 2021 Census, there was a net loss of 59,500 people from Australia’s capital cities, with Sydney experiencing a loss of 49,100 people.
The loss experienced for capital cities between 2020 and 2021 was almost five times greater than the loss between 2015 and 2016 (12,300).
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