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Regional internal migration estimates, provisional

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

Reference period
March 2021
Released
3/08/2021
Future Releases
  • Next Release 28/10/2021
    Regional internal migration estimates, provisional, June 2021
  • Next Release 1/02/2022
    Regional internal migration estimates, provisional, September 2021
  • Next Release 29/04/2022
    Regional internal migration estimates, provisional, December 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

  • 104,100 people moved interstate in the three months to the end of March 2021.
  • 16,400 more people moved interstate compared with the March 2020 quarter.
  • Capital cities had a net loss of 11,800 people from internal migration, the largest quarterly net loss on record.

Interstate migration

In the March 2021 quarter, 104,100 people moved interstate. This was 600 (0.6%) less than the number who moved in the previous quarter and 16,400 (19%) more than in the March 2020 quarter.

The number of interstate movers in the March 2021 quarter was the highest for a March quarter since 1996.

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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 (+7,000) over the March 2021 quarter, while Victoria lost the most (-4,900), closely followed by New South Wales (-4,500).

Queensland had the largest change in net migration, decreasing from 9,800 people in the previous quarter to 7,000 people in the March 2021 quarter. This was a result of arrivals decreasing from 30,400 to 28,500 and departures increasing from 20,600 to 21,500.

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Interstate migration
 March 2020 quarterDecember 2020 quarterMarch 2021 quarter
 ArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNet
NSW21,00526,545-5,54025,35630,624-5,26826,22130,684-4,463
VIC18,19517,60559018,46224,998-6,53618,90723,771-4,864
QLD24,35318,0856,26830,40620,6439,76328,50021,4657,035
SA5,7365,953-2177,0836,9491347,4606,812648
WA7,0337,257-2248,9477,7421,2059,1617,5221,639
TAS3,0322,7342983,8413,5422993,8083,531277
NT3,3784,033-6554,1044,400-2964,0094,419-410
ACT5,0405,560-5206,5525,8536996,0765,938138
Total87,77287,772-104,751104,751-104,142104,142-

 

Capital city migration

In the March 2021 quarter there was a net loss of 11,800 people from Australia's greater capital cities through internal migration. This was the largest net loss on record since the series started in 2001, surpassing the previous record net loss set in the September 2020 quarter (-11,200).

The net loss was the result of 54,400 arrivals (down from 55,400 in the December 2020 quarter) from and 66,300 departures (up slightly from 66,000) to non-capital city areas.

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Brisbane gained the most people through net internal migration (+3,300) while Melbourne lost the most (-8,300) in the March 2021 quarter. Melbourne's net loss was closely followed by Sydney (-8,200).

Brisbane also had the largest change in net migration, decreasing from 4,800 in the previous quarter to 3,300 in the March 2021 quarter. The next largest change was in Sydney, from -9,300 to -8,200.

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Internal migration, greater capital cities
 March 2020 quarterDecember 2020 quarterMarch 2021 quarter
 ArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNet
Sydney16,10124,188-8,08719,35728,674-9,31720,27028,439-8,169
Melbourne19,24321,406-2,16319,92128,412-8,49120,26728,540-8,273
Brisbane19,83817,9641,87425,31820,5484,77023,27319,9993,274
Adelaide6,3886,834-4467,8698,116-2478,2398,18059
Perth9,1669,238-7211,86510,0711,79411,66210,1081,554
Hobart1,7381,904-1662,2342,326-922,1682,457-289
Darwin2,7033,265-5623,6523,3932593,3733,512-139
Canberra5,0405,560-5206,5525,8536996,0765,938138
Total45,48455,626-10,14255,37465,999-10,62554,40966,254-11,845

 

New South Wales

  • There was a net loss of 4,500 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with losses of 5,300 people in the previous quarter and 5,500 in the March 2020 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 25,400 in the previous quarter to 26,200 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures increased slightly from 30,600 to 30,700.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since December 2018, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, New South Wales only gained people from Victoria (+880) and lost most to Queensland (-3,800).

Greater Sydney

  • There was a net loss of 8,200 people for Greater Sydney in the March 2021 quarter, compared with 9,300 in the previous quarter.
  • Sydney had net losses of 5,100 people to the rest of the state and 3,100 interstate.

Victoria

  • There was a net loss of 4,900 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with a loss of 6,500 people in the previous quarter and a gain of 590 in the March 2020 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 18,500 in the previous quarter to 18,900 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures decreased from 25,000 to 23,800.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2019 quarter, and departures were at their lowest since September 2020.
  • In net terms, Victoria did not gain people from any state or territory and lost most to Queensland (-2,900).

Greater Melbourne

  • There was a net loss of 8,300 people for Greater Melbourne in the March 2021 quarter, compared with 8,500 in the previous quarter.
  • Melbourne had net losses of 4,800 people to the rest of the state and 3,400 interstate. 

Queensland

  • There was a net gain of 7,000 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with gains of 9,800 people in the previous quarter and 6,300 in the March 2020 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 30,400 in the previous quarter to 28,500 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures increased from 20,600 to 21,500.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since September 2020, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, Queensland gained the most people from New South Wales (+3,800) and lost only to Western Australia (-250).

Greater Brisbane

  • There was a net gain of 3,300 people for Greater Brisbane in the March 2021 quarter, compared with 4,800 in the previous quarter.
  • Brisbane had net gains of 710 people from the rest of the state and 2,600 interstate. 

South Australia

  • There was a net gain of 650 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with a gain of 130 people in the previous quarter and a loss of 220 people in the March 2020 quarter.
  • The net gain in the March 2021 quarter was the largest net gain since this series began in 1981.
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 7,100 in the previous quarter to 7,500 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures decreased slightly from 6,900 to 6,800.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2003 quarter, and departures were at their lowest since September 2020.
  • In net terms, South Australia gained the most people from Victoria (+380) and lost most to Queensland (-270).

Greater Adelaide

  • There was a net gain of 60 people for Greater Adelaide in the March 2021 quarter, compared with a net loss of 250 in the previous quarter.
  • Adelaide had a net loss of 320 people to the rest of the state, and a net gain of 380 from interstate, the first net interstate gain since September 2002.
  • The net gain in the March 2021 quarter was the first since the December 2002 quarter (+40).

Western Australia

  • There was a net gain of 1,600 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with a gain of 1,200 people in the previous quarter and a net loss of 220 people in the March 2020 quarter.
  • The net gain in the March 2021 quarter was the largest net gain since the June 2012 quarter (+2,400).
  • Interstate arrivals increased from 8,900 in the previous quarter to 9,200 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures decreased from 7,700 to 7,500.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their highest for a quarter since the December 2013 quarter, and departures were at their lowest since September 2020.
  • In net terms, Western Australia gained the most people from New South Wales (+570).

Greater Perth

  • There was a net gain of 1,600 people for Greater Perth in the March 2021 quarter, compared with 1,800 in the previous quarter.
  • Perth had net gains of 190 people from the rest of the state and 1,400 interstate.

Tasmania

  • There was a net gain of 280 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with gains of 300 people in the previous quarter and the March 2020 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 3,800 while departures were also unchanged at 3,500.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their lowest for a quarter since the September 2020 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2011.
  • In net terms, Tasmania gained the most people from New South Wales (+300) and lost most to South Australia (-90).

Greater Hobart

  • There was a net loss of 290 people for Greater Hobart in the March 2021 quarter, compared with 90 in the previous quarter.
  • Hobart had net losses of 150 people to the rest of the state and 140 interstate.
  • The net loss in the March 2021 quarter was the largest since the June 2012 quarter (-320).

Northern Territory

  • There was a net loss of 410 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with losses of 300 people in the previous quarter and 660 in the March 2020 quarter.
  • The net loss in the March 2021 quarter was the largest net loss since the March 2020 quarter (-660).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased slightly from 4,100 in the previous quarter to 4,000 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures remained unchanged at 4,400.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their lowest for a quarter since the September 2020 quarter, and departures were at their highest since December 2019.
  • In net terms, the Northern Territory gained the most people from Victoria (+150) and lost most to Queensland (-210).

Greater Darwin

  • There was a net loss of 140 people for Greater Darwin in the March 2021 quarter, compared with a net gain of 260 in the previous quarter. 
  • Darwin had a net gain of 270 people from the rest of the territory, and a net loss of 410 interstate.

Australian Capital Territory

  • There was a net gain of 140 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, compared with a gain of 700 people in the previous quarter and a loss of 520 in the March 2020 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 6,600 in the previous quarter to 6,100 in the March 2021 quarter, while departures remained unchanged at 5,900.
  • March 2021 quarter arrivals were at their lowest for a quarter since the September 2020 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 (+290) and lost most to Queensland (-190).

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Catalogue number

This content is released under ABS catalogue number 3412.0.55.005.