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Regional internal migration estimates, provisional

Provisional statistics on internal migration at state/territory and capital city levels

Reference period
December 2020
Released
4/05/2021

Key statistics

  • 104,800 people moved interstate in the three months to the end of December 2020.
  • 3,900 less people moved interstate compared with the December 2019 quarter.
  • Capital cities had a net loss of 10,600 people from internal migration, compared with a net loss of 3,800 for the December 2019 quarter.

Interstate migration

In the December 2020 quarter, 104,800 people moved interstate. This was 28,500 (37%) more than the number who moved in the previous quarter and 3,900 (4%) less than in the December 2019 quarter.

The number of interstate movers in the December 2020 quarter was the lowest for a December quarter since 2015.

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Net migration is the difference between arrivals and departures. It can be positive (more arrivals than departures) or negative (more departures than arrivals).

Queensland gained the most people from net interstate migration (+9,800) over the December 2020 quarter, while Victoria lost the most (-6,500).

Victoria had the largest change in net migration, from -3,700 people in the previous quarter to -6,500 people in the December 2020 quarter. This was a result of departures (17,100 to 25,000) increasing more than arrivals (13,400 to 18,500).

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Interstate migration
 December 2019 quarterSeptember 2020 quarterDecember 2020 quarter
 ArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNet
NSW25,75332,536-6,78318,97123,081-4,11025,35630,624-5,268
Vic.23,90521,2402,66513,37117,120-3,74918,46224,998-6,536
Qld29,83022,9706,86022,31715,0807,23730,40620,6439,763
SA6,8087,863-1,0555,2215,144777,0836,949134
WA8,5839,596-1,0136,5325,9016318,9477,7421,205
Tas.3,8093,4193902,6352,4551803,8413,542299
NT3,8744,987-1,1133,0313,162-1314,1044,400-296
ACT6,0636,014494,1274,262-1356,5525,853699
Total108,625108,625-76,20576,205-104,751104,751-

 

Capital city migration

In the December 2020 quarter there was a net loss of 10,600 people from Australia's greater capital cities through internal migration. This was a smaller net loss than in the previous quarter (-11,200) and a much larger net loss than in the December 2019 quarter (-3,800).

The net loss was the result of 55,400 arrivals (up from 41,800 in the September 2020 quarter) from and 66,000 departures (up from 53,100) to non-capital city areas.

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Brisbane gained the most people through net internal migration (+4,800) while Sydney lost the most (-9,300) in the December 2020 quarter.

Brisbane also had the largest change in net migration, increasing from 3,200 in the previous quarter to 4,800 in the December 2020 quarter. The next largest change was in Sydney, from -7,800 to -9,300.

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Internal migration, greater capital cities
 December 2019 quarterSeptember 2020 quarterDecember 2020 quarter
 ArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNet
Sydney19,96227,994-8,03214,63422,416-7,78219,35728,674-9,317
Melbourne24,98224,62136114,40521,850-7,44519,92128,412-8,491
Brisbane25,64820,9124,73618,74315,5283,21525,31820,5484,770
Adelaide8,0248,823-7995,8276,161-3347,8698,116-247
Perth12,06711,6034649,1677,7791,38811,86510,0711,794
Hobart2,1742,279-1051,5551,717-1622,2342,326-92
Darwin3,2453,766-5212,4882,48083,6523,393259
Canberra6,0636,014494,1274,262-1356,5525,853699
Total58,25562,102-3,84741,84053,087-11,24755,37465,999-10,625

 

New South Wales

  • There was a net loss of 5,300 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with losses of 4,100 people in the previous quarter and 6,800 in the December 2019 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 19,000 in the previous quarter to 25,400 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 23,100 to 30,600.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals and departures were at their highest for a quarter since December 2019.
  • In net terms, New South Wales only gained people from Victoria (+1,000) and lost most to Queensland (-4,600).

Greater Sydney

  • There was a net loss of 9,300 people for Greater Sydney in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 7,800 in the previous quarter.
  • The net loss in the December 2020 quarter was the highest net loss for a quarter since December 2017.
  • Sydney had net losses of 5,400 people to the rest of the state, and 3,900 interstate.

Victoria

  • There was a net loss of 6,500 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with a loss of 3,700 people in the previous quarter and a gain of 2,700 in the December 2019 quarter.
  • The net loss in the December 2020 quarter was the largest net loss since the March 1994 quarter (-8,500).
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 13,400 in the previous quarter to 18,500 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 17,100 to 25,000.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2019 quarter, and departures were at their highest since March 1993.
  • In net terms, Victoria did not gain people from any state or territory and lost most to Queensland (-4,300).

Greater Melbourne

  • There was a net loss of 8,500 people for Greater Melbourne in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 7,400 in the previous quarter.
  • The net loss in the December 2020 quarter was the highest since this series began in 2001.
  • Melbourne had net losses of 4,200 people to the rest of the state, and 4,200 interstate. 

Queensland

  • There was a net gain of 9,800 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with gains of 7,200 people in the previous quarter and 6,900 in the December 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain in the December 2020 quarter was the largest net gain since the December 2003 quarter (+10,100).
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 22,300 in the previous quarter to 30,400 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 15,100 to 20,600.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2018 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, Queensland gained the most people from New South Wales (+4,600) and lost only to Western Australia (-100).

Greater Brisbane

  • There was a net gain of 4,800 people for Greater Brisbane in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 3,200 in the previous quarter.
  • Brisbane had net gains of 780 people from the rest of the state, and 4,000 interstate. 
  • The net gain in the December 2020 quarter was the largest from interstate migration since December 2002.

South Australia

  • There was a net gain of 130 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with a gain of 80 people in the previous quarter and a loss of 1,000 people in the December 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain in the December 2020 quarter was the largest net gain since the September 1991 quarter (+160).
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 5,200 in the previous quarter to 7,100 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 5,100 to 6,900.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2018 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, South Australia gained the most people from New South Wales (+260) and lost most to Queensland (-390).

Greater Adelaide

  • There was a net loss of 250 people for Greater Adelaide in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 330 in the previous quarter.
  • Adelaide had net losses of 160 people to the rest of the state, and 90 interstate.

Western Australia

  • There was a net gain of 1,200 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with a gain of 630 people in the previous quarter and a loss of 1,000 people in the December 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain in the December 2020 quarter was the largest net gain since the March 2013 quarter (+1,600).
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 6,500 in the previous quarter to 8,900 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 5,900 to 7,700.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2013 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, Western Australia gained the most people from Victoria (+470) and lost only to the Australian Capital Territory (-110).

Greater Perth

  • There was a net gain of 1,800 people for Greater Perth in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 1,400 in the previous quarter.
  • Perth had net gains of 530 people from the rest of the state, and 1,300 interstate. 

Tasmania

  • There was a net gain of 300 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with gains of 180 people in the previous quarter and 390 in the December 2019 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 2,600 in the previous quarter to 3,800 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 2,500 to 3,500.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2018 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2011.
  • In net terms, Tasmania gained the most people from New South Wales (+290) and lost most to South Australia (-120).

Greater Hobart

  • There was a net loss of 90 people for Greater Hobart in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 160 in the previous quarter.
  • Hobart had net losses of 20 people to the rest of the state, and 80 interstate.

Northern Territory

  • There was a net loss of 300 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with losses of 130 people in the previous quarter and 1,100 in the December 2019 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 3,000 in the previous quarter to 4,100 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 3,200 to 4,400.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2018 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, the Northern Territory gained the most people from Victoria (+170) and lost most to Queensland (-280).

Greater Darwin

  • There was a net gain of 260 people for Greater Darwin in the December 2020 quarter, compared with 10 in the previous quarter. 
  • Darwin had a net gain of 430 people from the rest of the territory, and a net loss of 170 interstate.

Australian Capital Territory

  • There was a net gain of 700 people from internal migration in the December 2020 quarter, compared with a loss of 140 people in the previous quarter and a gain of 50 in the December 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain in the December 2020 quarter was the largest net gain since the December 2010 quarter (+1,200).
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 4,100 in the previous quarter to 6,600 in the December 2020 quarter, while departures increased from 4,300 to 5,900.
  • December 2020 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2018 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, the Australian Capital Territory gained the most people from New South Wales (+480) and lost only to Queensland (-240).

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Catalogue number

This content is released under ABS catalogue number 3412.0.55.005.