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3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/06/2003   
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Feature article published in Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter, 2002.


AUSTRALIANS ON THE MOVE

Between 1996 and 2001, 6.8 million people age 5 years and over (42.4%) changed their place of residence in Australia. Of all the people who moved during this period, 5.9 million (86%) moved within the same state or territory, 767,900 people (11%) moved interstate and for a further 157,300 people (2%) their move was undefined.

POPULATION MOBILITY(a), Type of move, 1991-2001

1991-1996(a)
1996-2000(a)
2000-2001(b)
Type of move
no.
%
no.
%
no.
%

Moved
    Same SLA
2,148,177
14.1
2,205,049
13.7
1,198,451
6.8
    Other SLA and same SD
2,512,333
16.5
2,670,668
16.6
1,171,253
6.7
    Other SD same state
1,007,400
6.6
1,004,048
6.3
368,301
2.1
    Moved interstate
768,903
5.0
767,932
4.8
286,338
1.6
    Type undefined
130,453
0.9
157,264
1.0
79,930
0.5
Total moved
6,567,266
43.1
6,804,961
42.4
3,104,273
17.7
Did not move
8,661,112
56.9
9,253,360
57.6
14,446,309
82.3
Total(c)
15,228,378
100.0
16,058,321
100.0
17,550,582
100.0

(a) For persons aged five years and over.

(b) For persons aged one year and over.

(c) Census count at the end census date excludes overseas visitors, not stated and not applicable responses.

Source: 1996 and 2001 Census of Population and Housing, data available on request.

Net interstate migration

According to population estimates there were 1,844,800 interstate moves made between 1996 and 2001. Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia were the only states or territories to have registered a net gain through interstate migration, with Queensland recording the largest net increase (92,200). This figure has decreased by over 50% from the net increase recorded for Queensland between 1991 and 1996(201,000 people). For the five-year period 1996 to 2001, net losses due to interstate migration were recorded for all other states and territories, with New South Wales recording the largest net loss (-66,500).

The net losses recorded for New South Wales and South Australia between 1991 and 1996 were higher than their respective losses recorded between 1996 and 2001. Victoria experienced a significant change from the previous five-year period when it recorded the largest net loss due to interstate migration (-107,800). In the period between 1996 and 2001 this state recorded a net gain of 6,400 people. The Australian Capital Territory was the only state or territory to have recorded a decrease in net interstate migration between 1996 and 2001 (-4,600) after having recorded a net interstate migration gain in the five years from 1991 to 1996 (1,100).

NET INTERSTATE MIGRATION, 1991-2001

1991-1996
1996-2001

New South Wales
-71,770
-66,549
Victoria
-107,832
6,444
Queensland
201,038
92,188
South Australia
-23,108
-12,894
Western Australia
11,526
2,886
Tasmania
-9,136
-15,043
Northern Territory
-1,831
-2,170
Australian Capital Territory
1,113
-4,642
Total(a)
. .
. .

(a) Includes Other Territories from September 1996 to June 2001.

Source: Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

Interstate migration flows

The general pattern of movement over the last two decades has been northward, away from south-eastern Australia. According to ERP estimates in 1996-2001, this movement resulted in Queensland receiving the most significant net gain (92,200). All states and territories experienced a loss to Queensland, with New South Wales losing the largest number of people (-59,600) accounting for 65% of Queensland's total net interstate migration gain.


INTERSTATE MOVES, 1996-2001

STATE/TERRITORY OF ARRIVAL

State/territory of departure
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Total(a)

'000
New South Wales
. .
123.6
249.7
34.2
42.5
13.6
15.5
55.9
535.3
Victoria
118.0
. .
104.2
39.1
37.4
15.5
13.0
11.7
339.0
Queensland
190.1
91.8
. .
27.3
34.8
14.1
23.6
13.4
395.2
South Australia
35.3
45.3
32.8
. .
18.1
4.5
15.4
4.6
156.0
Western Australia
40.2
38.3
36.8
16.7
. .
8.2
13
4.5
158.0
Tasmania
14.6
21.4
19.8
5.2
9.2
. .
2.0
2.0
74.2
Northern Territory
13.8
12.1
26.5
16.8
13.7
1.7
. .
2.5
86.9
Australian Capital Territory
56.7
12.8
17.6
3.8
4.7
1.5
2.2
. .
99.3
Total(a)
468.8
345.4
487.4
143.2
160.9
59.1
84.8
94.7
1,844.8
Net gain/loss
-66.5
6.4
92.2
-12.9
2.9
-15.0
-2.2
-4.6
. .

(a) Includes Other Territories from September 1996 to June 2001.

Source: Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

Population turnover and redistribution

Population turnover measures gross moves in relation to the size of the population. The level of population turnover between 1996-2001 varied considerably across states and territories as the arrivals and departures for each state and territory were much larger than indicated by the net balance between them. For example, the interstate loss of -66,500 from New South Wales between 1996 and 2001 was actually the difference between 468,800 arrivals and 535,300 departures (1,004,000 gross moves). These gross movements can be used to describe interstate mobility in terms of population turnover and redistribution.

The highest population turnover occurred in the Northern Territory (89%) as the gross moves (171,700) were nearly the same as the total population at the mid point of the later census year.

Another way of looking at interstate migration is to assess how effective migration has been in redistributing the population. This index, known as the migration effectiveness ratio (MER), compares the total net gain or loss to the gross moves (Bell 1995, p109)1. For 1996-2001 Queensland had the highest MER (10.4%), gaining 10 people out of every 100 interstate moves in and out of Queensland. Tasmania also recorded a relatively large MER (-11.3%), indicating that Tasmania lost 11 people for every 100 interstate moves in and out of the state.


POPULATION TURNOVER AND MIGRATION EFFECTIVENESS RATIOS, 1996-2001

Migration
Population
effectiveness
Arrivals
Departures
Net
Gross
turnover(a)
ratio(b)
no.
no.
no.
no.
%
%

New South Wales
468,779
535,328
-66,549
1,004,107
15.6
-6.6
Victoria
345,416
338,972
6,444
684,388
14.6
0.9
Queensland
487,374
395,186
92,188
882,560
25.2
10.4
South Australia
143,150
156,044
-12,894
299,194
20.0
-4.3
Western Australia
160,917
158,031
2,886
318,948
17.3
0.9
Tasmania
59,115
74,158
-15,043
133,273
28.2
-11.3
Northern Territory
84,778
86,948
-2,170
171,726
89.2
-1.3
Australian Capital Territory
94,664
99,306
-4,642
193,970
61.9
-2.4
Total(a)
1,844,797
1,843,797
. .
3,689,594
19.5
. .

(a) Percentage of the average 1996 and 2001 ERP.

(b) Net migration divided by gross migration expressed as a percentage.

Source: Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0).

MOVEMENT BETWEEN STATISTICAL DIVISIONS

Net internal migration gains between 1996 and 2001, for persons age 5 and over, were mostly recorded by SDs along the eastern coastline of Queensland and New South Wales and the south-west corner of Western Australia. The capital cities of Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin also recorded net internal migration gains. On the other hand, net internal migration losses mainly occurred in the rural inland and remote areas of Australia and in the capital cities of Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra.

Sydney recorded the largest net migration loss between 1996 and 2001 (-60,600), with the next largest loss recorded by Northern New South Wales (-8,300). Every SD in Tasmania experienced significant net migration losses, and losses were also recorded in all but one SD in South Australia. The largest rate of net migration loss was recorded in North West in Queensland (-13.6%), with the next largest loss recorded in the Pilbara in Western Australia (-13.3%).


NET INTERNAL MIGRATION(a), STATISTICAL DIVISIONS, 1996-2001 CENSUS

Intrastate
Interstate
Total
Rate(b)
State
    Statistical division
no.
no.
no.
%

New South Wales
    Sydney
-36,287
-24,341
-60,628
-1.6
    Hunter
12,452
-4,475
7,977
1.4
    Illawarra
14,148
-3,484
10,664
2.9
    Richmond-Tweed
8,044
-3,156
4,888
2.4
    Mid-North Coast
11,615
-5,261
6,354
2.4
    Northern
-3,172
-5,100
-8,272
-4.7
    North Western
-4,034
-2,665
-6,699
-5.8
    Central West
-2,193
-3,037
-5,230
-3.1
    South Eastern
2,013
254
2,267
1.3
    Murrumbidgee
-903
-4,116
-5,019
-3.4
    Murray
-1,099
-2,948
-4,047
-3.7
    Far West
-584
-1,552
-2,136
-8.8
Victoria
    Melbourne
-2,513
13,365
10,852
0.3
    Barwon
6,087
-891
5,196
2.2
    Western District
-2,422
-851
-3,273
-3.3
    Central Highlands
2,191
-599
1,592
1.2
    Wimmera
-1,957
-471
-2,428
-4.8
    Mallee
-3,463
58
-3,405
-4.0
    Loddon
2,986
-675
2,311
1.5
    Goulburn
157
-515
-358
-0.2
    Ovens-Murray
-368
-98
-466
-0.5
    East Gippsland
-1,664
-1,292
-2,956
-3.8
    Gippsland
966
-1,240
-274
-0.2
Queensland
    Brisbane
17,347
32,853
50,200
3.3
    Moreton
16,084
36,595
52,679
8.2
    Wide Bay-Burnett
-4,377
4,889
512
0.2
    Darling Downs
-2,052
2,623
571
0.3
    South West
-2,404
6
-2,398
-9.3
    Fitzroy
-6,176
556
-5,620
-3.2
    Central West
-1,381
-156
-1,537
-12.6
    Mackay
-5,792
836
-4,956
-4.0
    Northern
-271
1,537
1,266
0.7
    Far North
-6,540
1,001
-5,539
-2.7
    North West
-4,438
-276
-4,714
-13.6
South Australia
    Adelaide
5,281
-8,990
-3,709
-0.3
    Outer Adelaide
4,541
486
5,027
4.7
    Yorke and Lower North
-320
44
-276
-0.6
    Murray Lands
-1,429
-307
-1,736
-2.6
    South East
-1,738
-456
-2,194
-3.6
    Eyre
-761
93
-668
-2.1
    Northern
-5,574
-1,089
-6,663
-8.4
Western Australia
    Perth
5,801
3,264
9,065
0.7
    South West
10,236
1,021
11,257
6.5
    Lower Great Southern
-230
-112
-342
-0.7
    Upper Great Southern
-1,702
-72
-1,774
-9.5
    Midlands
-2,020
-230
-2,250
-4.4
    South Eastern
-5,353
-425
-5,778
-10.8
    Central
-1,919
-250
-2,169
-3.8
    Pilbara
-4,547
-568
-5,115
-13.3
    Kimberley
-266
-206
-472
-1.7
Tasmania
    Greater Hobart
3,734
-6,132
-2,398
-1.3
    Southern
-1,434
196
-1,238
-3.7
    Northern
145
-3,103
-2,958
-2.3
    Mersey-Lyell
-2,445
-3,552
-5,997
-5.7
Northern Territory
    Darwin
2,016
-1,182
834
0.9
    Northern Territory - Bal
-2,016
-3,555
-5,571
-6.2
Australian Capital Territory
    Canberra
19
-2,094
-2,075
-0.7
    Australian Capital Territory - Bal
-19
4
-15
-4.4

(a) For persons aged five year and over.

(b) Percentage of the mean of the 1996 and 2001 usual residence populations.

Source: 2001 Census of Population and Housing, data available on request.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information on population mobility including return migration, reasons for moving, age, sex and birthplace of movers and Indigenous mobility see Chapter 3 in Population Growth and Distribution (cat. no. 2035.0) due for release on 16 June 2003. This publication also contains information on population distribution, population growth and decline and final population estimates by statistical local areas for each state and territory.

1 Bell, M. 1995 Internal Migration in Australia 1986-91: overview report, Bureau of Immigration Multicultural and Population Research, Canberra.


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