Australian Bureau of Statistics
2914.0 - 2006 Census of Population and Housing - Fact Sheets, 2006
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2007
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Internal migration is the movement of people from one defined area to another within a country. The Census is the most comprehensive source of data on the characteristics of people moving within Australia.
The Census collects data on place of usual residence on Census night (PURP), one year prior to the Census date (PUR1P) and five years prior to the Census date (PUR5P). From these data, internal migration between 2001 and 2006, and between 2005 and 2006 can be determined. Characteristics of people who move, such as age, birthplace of individual, marital status and occupation, are also available from the Census.
Since the internal migration data are derived from usual residence at certain dates, only the overall effects of any multiple movements between these dates can be derived. For example, John Citizen was living in a South Australian rural area at the time of the 2001 Census. Six months later he moved to Melbourne for two years, and then to Adelaide where he was living at the time of the 2006 Census. Census data would only show that he had moved from a South Australian rural area to Adelaide between 2001 and 2006.
No movement is shown in the internal migration data for 'out and back' movements. For example, a family who moved away from their 2001 place of usual residence to live elsewhere, then returned to this address before the 2006 Census, would not be recorded as moving.
There are three variables used to produce data on internal migration:
The Place of Usual Residence (PURP) variables are hierarchical and can be aggregated to higher levels of geography including Local Government Areas, Statistical Divisions and State/Territory.
There are three other variables which, when used with the above variables relating to usual residence, make it possible to identify the pattern of movement of people between three dates, i.e. Census Night, one year ago and five years ago:
The movement of households (as distinct from individuals) for one and five year periods prior to Census Night is also available using the variables:
Again, these variables should be used in conjunction with the Place of Usual Residence variables described above to derive patterns of internal migration.
The following table was produced using data from the 2001 Census for people whose state/territory of usual residence in 2001 was different to their state/territory of usual residence in 1996. It shows the number of people who left each state/territory and the number of people who arrived in each state/territory. For example, the table shows Queensland had 233,984 arrivals from interstate with the majority of people coming from New South Wales (122,506 persons) and Victoria (47,867 persons). It also shows 151,601 people left Queensland for other states and territories with the majority of people going to New South Wales (70,273 persons) and Victoria (37,105 persons).
A similar table showing interstate movers from 2000 to 2001 could be derived.
OTHER DATA ON INTERSTATE MIGRATION
The ABS produces quarterly estimates of interstate migration in the publication Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). The data are derived from unidentified information on interstate changes of address as advised by Medicare Australia in conjunction with Census interstate migration data and counts of defence force personnel obtained from the Department of Defence. For further information see Demography Working Paper: 2004/1, Review of Interstate Migration Method (cat. no. 3106.0.55.001).
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This page last updated 18 August 2009