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Regional internal migration estimates, provisional

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

Reference period
September 2020
Released
2/02/2021

Key statistics

  • 76,200 people moved interstate in the three months to the end of September 2020.
  • 10,600 less people moved interstate compared with the September 2019 quarter.
  • Capital cities had a net loss of 11,200 people from internal migration, the largest quarterly net loss on record.

Interstate migration

In the September 2020 quarter, 76,200 people moved interstate. This was 9,200 (11%) less than the number who moved in the previous quarter and 10,600 (12%) less than in the September 2019 quarter.

The number of interstate movers in the September 2020 quarter was the lowest since the September 2014 quarter.

People may take some time to update their address information when they move. The ABS method for these statistics assumes an average of three months for this to occur. As a result, some movements included in this release may have occurred outside the reference quarter.

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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 (+7,200) over the September 2020 quarter, while New South Wales lost the most (-4,100).

Western Australia had the largest change in net migration, increasing from -230 people in the previous quarter to +630 people in the September 2020 quarter. This was a result of departures (6,900 to 5,900) decreasing more than arrivals (6,700 to 6,500).

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Interstate migration
 September 2019 quarterJune 2020 quarterSeptember 2020 quarter
 ArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNet
NSW21,30725,916-4,60921,80825,763-3,95518,97123,081-4,110
Vic.19,16717,1372,03015,93018,972-3,04213,37117,120-3,749
Qld23,46517,9955,47024,14117,3916,75022,31715,0807,237
SA5,3896,381-9925,7935,6891045,2215,14477
WA6,9067,852-9466,6896,916-2276,5325,901631
Tas.2,9612,8231383,1602,7733872,6352,455180
NT3,0583,727-6693,2073,467-2603,0313,162-131
ACT4,5684,990-4224,7234,4802434,1274,262-135
Total86,82186,821-85,45185,451-76,20576,205-

 

Capital city migration

In the September 2020 quarter there was a net loss of 11,200 people from Australia’s greater capital cities through internal migration. This was a larger net loss than in the previous quarter (-11,000) and the September 2019 quarter (-5,600).

The net loss was the result of 41,800 arrivals (down from 46,800 in the September 2019 quarter) from and 53,000 departures (up from 52,400 in September 2019) to non-capital city areas.

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Brisbane gained the most people through net internal migration (+3,200) while Sydney lost the most (-7,800) in the September quarter of 2020.

Sydney had the largest change in net migration, from -6,400 in the previous quarter to -7,800 in the September 2020 quarter. The next largest change was in Perth, which increased from +400 to +1,400.

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Internal migration, greater capital cities
 September 2019 quarterJune 2020 quarterSeptember 2020 quarter
 ArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNetArrivalsDeparturesNet
Sydney16,63322,848-6,21516,83923,217-6,37814,63422,416-7,782
Melbourne19,99220,977-98517,02325,017-7,99414,40521,850-7,445
Brisbane20,57916,8923,68720,32517,1363,18918,74315,5283,215
Adelaide6,1407,233-1,0936,7046,885-1815,8276,161-334
Perth9,8089,6431659,4119,0034089,1677,7791,388
Hobart1,7491,934-1851,8461,888-421,5551,717-162
Darwin2,3912,974-5832,5672,769-2022,4882,4808
Canberra4,5684,990-4224,7234,4802434,1274,262-135
Total46,76252,393-5,63147,45358,410-10,95741,84053,087-11,247

 

The net loss of people through internal migration for the capital cities this quarter (-11,200) was the largest quarterly loss since this series commenced in 2001.

New South Wales

  • There was a net loss of 4,100 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with losses of 4,000 in the previous quarter and 4,600 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • The net loss in the September 2020 quarter was the largest net loss since the March 2020 quarter (-5,500).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 21,800 in the previous quarter to 19,000 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures decreased from 25,800 to 23,100.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest for a quarter since September 2014, and departures were at their lowest since September 2016.
  • In net terms, New South Wales gained the most people from Victoria (+500) and lost most to Queensland (-4,000).

Greater Sydney

  • There was a net loss of 7,800 people for Greater Sydney in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 6,400 in the previous quarter.
  • Sydney had a net loss of 4,700 people to the rest of the state, compared with 3,700 in the previous quarter.

Victoria

  • There was a net loss of 3,700 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with a loss of 3,000 in the previous quarter and a gain of 2,000 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • The net loss in the September 2020 quarter was the largest quarterly loss since September 1995 (-4,100).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 15,900 in the previous quarter to 13,400 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures decreased from 19,000 to 17,100.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest for a quarter since the December 1995 quarter, with departures at their lowest since September 2018.
  • In net terms, Victoria did not gain people from any state or territory and lost most to Queensland (-2,400).

Greater Melbourne

  • There was a net loss of 7,400 people for Greater Melbourne in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 8,000 in the previous quarter.
  • Melbourne had a net loss of 4,700 people to the rest of the state, compared with 5,900 in the previous quarter.

Queensland

  • There was a net gain of 7,200 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 6,800 in the previous quarter and 5,500 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain for the 2020 quarter was the largest since the December 2017 quarter (+7,700).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 24,100 in the previous quarter to 22,300 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures decreased from 17,400 to 15,100.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest since the September 2016 quarter, with departures at their lowest since December 1994.
  • In net terms, Queensland gained the most people from New South Wales (+4,000) and lost only to Western Australia (-30).

Greater Brisbane

  • There was a net gain of 3,200 people for Greater Brisbane in the September 2020 quarter, remaining unchanged from the previous quarter.
  • Brisbane had a net gain of 230 people from the rest of the state, compared with 890 in the previous quarter.

South Australia

  • There was a net gain of 80 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 100 in the previous quarter and a net loss of 990 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 5,800 in the previous quarter to 5,200 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures also decreased from 5,700 to 5,100.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest since the September 2017 quarter, and departures were the lowest since December 1983.
  • In net terms, South Australia gained the most people from New South Wales (+160) and lost most to Queensland (-290).

Greater Adelaide

  • There was a net loss of 330 people for Greater Adelaide in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 180 in the previous quarter.
  • Adelaide had a net loss of 240 people to the rest of the state, compared with 40 in the previous quarter.

Western Australia

  • There was a net gain of 630 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with net losses of 230 in the previous quarter, and 950 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain in the September 2020 quarter was the first since the June 2013 quarter (+1,000).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 6,700 in the previous quarter to 6,500 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures also decreased from 6,900 to 5,900.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest since the September 2017 quarter, with departures at their lowest since December 1994.
  • In net terms, Western Australia gained the most people from Victoria (+350) and lost most to South Australia (-80).

Greater Perth

  • There was a net gain of 1,400 people for Greater Perth in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 410 in the previous quarter.
  • Perth had a net gain of 710 from the rest of the state, compared with 580 in the previous quarter.

Tasmania

  • There was a net gain of 180 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 390 in the previous quarter, and 140 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • The net gain in the September 2020 quarter was the lowest since the September 2019 quarter (+140).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 3,200 in the previous quarter to 2,600 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures decreased from 2,800 to 2,500.
  • September 2019 quarter arrivals were at their lowest since the September 2014 quarter, with departures at their lowest since September 2016.
  • In net terms, Tasmania gained the most people from New South Wales (+130) and lost most to Queensland (-100).

Greater Hobart

  • There was a net loss of 160 people for Greater Hobart in the September 2020 quarter, compared with 40 in the previous quarter.
  • Hobart had a net loss of 30 to the rest of the state, compared with a gain of 30 in the previous quarter.

Northern Territory

  • There was a net loss of 130 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with net losses of 260 in the previous quarter, and 670 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • The net interstate migration loss was the lowest since the June 2013 quarter (-80).
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 3,200 in the previous quarter to 3,000 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures also decreased from 3,500 to 3,200.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest since the December 1987 quarter and departures at their lowest since June 1985.
  • In net terms, the Northern Territory gained the most people from Victoria (+230) and lost most to Queensland (-350).

Greater Darwin

  • There was a small net gain of 10 people for Greater Darwin in the September 2020 quarter, compared with a net loss of 200 in the previous quarter.
  • Darwin had a net gain of 160 people from the rest of the state, compared with 100 in the previous quarter.
  • Greater Darwin had its first net gain from internal migration since the June 2015 quarter.

Australian Capital Territory

  • There was a net loss of 140 people from internal migration in the September 2020 quarter, compared with a gain of 240 in the previous quarter and a loss of 420 in the September 2019 quarter.
  • Interstate arrivals decreased from 4,700 in the previous quarter to 4,100 in the September 2020 quarter, while departures also decreased from 4,500 to 4,300.
  • September 2020 quarter arrivals were at their lowest since the September 2014 quarter, with departures at their lowest since September 2016.
  • In net terms, the Australian Capital Territory gained the most people from Victoria (+80) and lost most to Queensland (-150).

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Catalogue number

This content is released under ABS catalogue number 3412.0.55.005.