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3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2000  
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Special Article - Interstate migration 1999-2000 (Dec, 2000)


This article is sourced from
Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat. No. 3101.0)

The movement of people across States and Territories is an important determinant of Australia's population distribution. Historically, mobility in Australia has been high. Of the components of population change at the State and Territory level - births, deaths, net interstate migration and net overseas migration - the net interstate migration has been the most volatile. Interstate migration is unrestricted and, because of the large numbers involved, it has a profound impact on the growth and distribution of population in the States and Territories.


NET INTERSTATE MIGRATION

Queensland and Victoria were the only two States or Territories to have a net gain of persons from interstate migration during 1999-2000. All other States and Territories experienced a net loss. For Western Australia this was the fourth time since 1971-72 that a loss was recorded.

Queensland experienced the largest net interstate inflow of persons of any State or Territory in 1999-2000. Compared with the previous year, Queensland's net interstate migration gain increased 10%. This broke the downward trend that Queensland had been experiencing since its record net inflow during 1992-93 (49,200).
Victoria, for the third year running, experienced a net interstate migration gain. The 1999-2000 inflow was an increase of 69% on the previous year. This is a vast contrast to the previous net interstate losses recorded since 1971-72 which peaked during 1993-94. It is possible that these interstate migrants to Victoria are previous departees from this State who are returning to a more stable economy following the recession of the early 1990s. An October 1999 survey on the mobility of the population in Victoria found that 54% of interstate movers cited employment reasons as their main reason for moving into Victoria, followed by accessibility reasons1 (31%).

Western Australia's net interstate migration outflow was small. New South Wales (9%) and South Australia (66%) had increased loss of persons due to interstate migration outflow in 1999-2000 compared with 1998-99. All other States and Territories had a net interstate migration outflow, but at a reduced level to the previous year.

NET INTERSTATE MIGRATION, 1989-90 to 1999-2000


STATE OR TERRITORY

Total
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
movers

1989-1990
-35,983
-7,829
38,102
-252
3,012
2,790
-1,170
1,330
347,642
1990-1991
-17,206
-14,853
29,709
1,545
-1,791
816
-1,152
2,932
330,584
1991-1992
-13,807
-18,427
34,099
-658
-1,314
-289
-969
1,365
332,487
1992-1993
-17,535
-25,388
49,162
-5,210
-152
-1,494
-699
1,316
371,282
1993-1994
-12,180
-29,195
44,936
-3,978
3,825
-2,107
-875
-426
329,560
1994-1995
-13,478
-22,020
40,225
-7,070
5,101
-2,656
384
-486
359,032
1995-1996
-14,770
-12,801
32,615
-6,192
4,066
-2,590
328
-656
349,395
1996-1997
-11,975
-4,687
20,179
-4,628
6,189
-3,661
1,790
-3,207
373,919
1997-1998
-13,543
1,206
17,967
-3,254
4,726
-3.966
-439
-2,697
363,714
1998-1999
-14,315
3,975
17,233
-2,869
1,775
-3,669
-917
-1,213
358,422
1999-2000
-15,586
6,713
19,012
-4,773
-684
-2,972
-871
-839
367,390


During 1999-2000, 367,400 people are estimated to have moved interstate, 3% more than in the previous financial year, 6% more than ten years ago and 47% more than twenty years ago. This contributed to a population turnover (the sum of interstate arrivals and departures and all permanent and long-term overseas arrivals and departures expressed as a proportion of the resident population)2 due to interstate migration, of 3.9% for Australia. For the States and Territories the turnover was 3.2% for New South Wales, 2.9% for Victoria, 5.0% for Queensland, 3.9% for South Australia, 3.4% for Western Australia, 5.6% for Tasmania, 17.3% for the Northern Territory and 12.8% for the Australian Capital Territory in 1999-2000.


POPULATION FLOWS

Queensland continued to be the most popular destination for interstate arrivals during 1999-2000 (96,800), followed by New South Wales (93,000), Victoria (71,700) and Western Australia (31,500). New South Wales was the State with the largest number of interstate departures (108,600), followed by Queensland (77,800), Victoria (65,000) and Western Australia (32,200).

The most popular moves were again to or from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The highest interstate flow was from New South Wales to Queensland (50,800 persons), followed by a flow from Queensland to New South Wales (37,300 persons) and from New South Wales to Victoria (25,800 persons). The movement between Queensland and New South Wales resulted in the largest net gain of 13,500 persons to the population of Queensland. The movement between New South Wales and Victoria resulted in the second largest net gain of 2,700 persons to the population of Victoria.

Compared to their population size, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory experienced large population flows. However, because the inflows are roughly the same as the outflows, their net interstate migration remains small. In the Northern Territory, with an estimated total population of 195,500 at June 2000, there were 16,300 interstate arrivals and 17,100 interstate departures during 1999-2000 resulting in a net interstate migration loss of 870 people. In the Australian Capital Territory, with a population of 310,800 at June 2000, there were 19,400 arrivals and 20,200 departures resulting in a net interstate migration loss of 840 people.


AGE STRUCTURE OF INTERSTATE MIGRANTS

The most mobile people are young adults, aged 25-29 years and the surrounding ages. Of people who moved during 1999-2000, 38% were aged 20-34 years. From the ages of 25-29 years the proportion of people moving interstate decreased as age increased.

In 1999-2000 the median age of all interstate movers was 27.6 years. The Northern Territory (26.0 years) and the Australian Capital Territory (26.2 years) had the youngest median age of interstate arrivals. Tasmania (28.8 years) and Queensland (28.4 years) had the oldest median age of interstate arrivals with 18% and 16%, respectively, of their interstate arrivals over the age of 50. In these two States, as well as in South Australia, the median age of arrivals was higher than the median age of departures.

Tasmania had the lowest median age for interstate departures (26.0), with close to 70% of their departures aged under 35 years. Victoria (28.2 years) and New South Wales (27.9 years) had the oldest median age of interstate departures with 14% and 15%, respectively, of their departures aged over 50.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Further information about interstate migration and overseas migration is available in Migration, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat. no. 3412.0) released.

1 Includes 'education', 'be close to family and friends', and 'better lifestyle' responses. Source: ABS, Population Mobility, Victoria, October 1999 (Cat. no. 3237.2).

2 Martin Bell, Internal Migration in Australia 1986-91: Overview report, AGPS, Canberra, 1995, p120.




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