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Interstate moving in Australia: What’s The Low-Down & Why Are People Uprooting?

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Interstate moving has always been popular in Australia. And who would want to leave anyway? Sunny days, good weather, great life satisfaction, and even better people! The Australian Bureau of Statistics even backs up this claim by showing that Australians are among the least likely in the world to leave the comfort of Australian land.



- Interstate moving in Australia: What’s The Low-Down & Why Are People Uprooting?

- And where did they go?

- Possible reasons behind these interstate moving trends.


It’s no surprise then that the number of interstate movers continues to grow within Australian borders, especially considering the ever-growing allure of the bigger cities to Gen Z, Gen X, and millennials.


However, a spanner has been thrown a spanner into the works.


Interstate moving trends have looked a little different this year


In the June quarter of 2020, 85,500 people moved interstate within Australian borders. While that might seem like a significant number, it’s a 3% decrease from the 87,800 of the previous quarter.


It’s even more remarkable that it’s a 14,800 (15%) decrease from the June 2019 quarter. And there are no prizes for guessing why that’s the case. With the arrival of Covid-19, not only were economic and social norms disrupted, but many other typical trends were shaken up.


Since unnecessary movement or travel was limited both internationally and domestically, finding a living-space in another state was put off by most hopeful-movers.


However, the show must go on. Many Australians found methods of moving interstate while abiding with government restrictions and staying safe.


And where did they go?

What’s The Low-Down & Why Are People Uprooting?


Interestingly, while New South Wales witnessed the largest decrease in population (-4,000,) while Queensland simultaneously gained the most. As data would suggest, most of those who decided to move away from New South Wales opted to move to areas within Queensland. Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane, witnessed the largest growth, with an excess of 3,200 people flocking to its new settlement. This is a 68% growth compared with 1,900 new settlers in the previous quarter.


However, the growth extends to a broader scale, with an overall regional net gain for the June 2020 quarter being the largest net gain for the state since December 2019 (+6,900 people).


What does all of that mean? Essentially, it suggests that all Queensland cities and regions are growing equally and at an unrivaled pace by any other area of Australia. Moreover, it puts forward the prospect that other surrounding areas such as New South Wales are draining into the popular spot. But as we’ll delve further into below – the growth isn’t necessarily happening in the capital cities.


Possible reasons behind these interstate moving trends


Notably, there’s no trend in cities gaining over their respective regions, with Sydney and Melbourne witnessing a net population loss that matches New South Wale’s overall loss. However, despite all the relative losses and gains, one result is clear – the steady growth of capital cities has drastically slowed. In fact, standing at an overall gross loss of -10,484 – it’s reversed. And in a time of ever-increasing urbanization in Australia, that’s not a number to be scoffed at. In fact, it’s considered the largest quarterly net loss to date.


As of now, the only substantial explanation remains the knock-on effects of Covid-19. As Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales witnessed some of the most limiting and stark restrictions. An exodus from the workplace occurred, with many workers opting to work remotely or intermittingly between the home and office. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 saw 46% of New South Wales workers work from home by May 2020, up from 8% in 2016.


Though no research has yet been undertaken on the influence of the prospect of remote working on moving tendencies, it’s believed that there’s a considerable connection. Moreover, as of 2020, 88% of Australia’s population has internet access. Paired with ever-expanding, evolving and, improving internet quality across all Australian regions – a faulty internet connection is dying as a reason to not telecommute. For the Australians who were confined to cities solely because of work-duties, the prospect of living rurally has suddenly become somewhat more realistic. And it looks like they’re jumping at the opportunity!


Perhaps a more reliable contributing factor to Queensland’s population growth is that it's part of a trend. Data shows that since 2011, 220,000 Australians have made the inter-boarder move to the sunny state. Of those that moved, a common motivation cited was staggering house prices elsewhere, notable Sydney. Plus, as always, the area's ever-growing job market was also put forward as a potential catalyst.


What about other regions of Australia?

What’s The Low-Down & Why Are People Uprooting?


Only three other states received a positive influx of people, with South Australia receiving a growth of 104, Tasmania (387), and Australian Capital Territory (243.) Interestingly South Australia is one of the only Australian states that has reversed their growth trend, with Interstate arrivals increased from 5,700 in the previous quarter to 5,800 in the June 2020 quarter, while departures decreased from 6,000 to 5,700. However, similar to Queensland, South Australia received its highest influx from New South Wales(300). On the other hand, it also lost 300 people to Queensland in the June 2020 quarter.


Western Australia, true to its tradition, has remained relatively unaffected by interstate travel or moving.


Final word


As it stands, some Australians are still loading up and setting up shop in other states despite the current pandemic. There is no evidence of a standstill, but rates have slowed.


With vaccines on the horizon and continual streamlining and optimization of health precautions – moving is now a brighter prospect than ever. So, we could possibly expect a bottleneck of potential interstate movers to push forward as the pandemic enters its final days, especially considering the revolutionized workplace environment.


What does that mean? That means that mover and removalist companies will be busy! While transporting all of your possessions interstate was always a challenge, now it’s more cumbersome than ever. The added pressures of travel restrictions alongside the need to take precautionary measures at every step can heighten the already immense stress of moving.


And that’s where professional removalists can help. Here at Prime, we’ll move your stuff interstate for you! Whether you’re from Brisbane or Sydney, all you have to do is give us a call, arrange an appointment, and we’ll take care of all the heavy lifting for you. Plus, when it comes to Covid, we’ve got our safety policy sorted. We’re ready to get moving when you are!


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