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Who’s moving?

Around half of Australia’s population moved house in the five years leading to the last Census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed.

The latest release of Census data shows that just over half (53.1%) of Australia’s population lived at the same address in the five years prior to the 2021 Census, which was consistent with previous censuses.

In 2021, however, people were more likely to have moved elsewhere in Australia than compared to the five years prior to the 2011 and 2016 Census.

Australia’s internal migration (that is, around the country) follows a well-established pattern that coincides with significant life events. For example, young adults may move to commence higher education, enter the work force, or start a family. Higher rates of migration of young children are tied to that of their parents.

Later in life, migration can be related to older children leaving home (down-sizing), retirement and relocation for health and caring purposes.

The data also shows that movers were more likely to be working than non-movers. Of people aged 15-64 years who moved address between 2016 and 2021, 81.1% were in the labour force, meaning they were employed or looking for work. In comparison, 75.7% of people who did not move address were in the labour force.

People working in certain occupations were much more likely to move address. The Defence Force had the highest proportion of people who had moved within the last five years, while farmers were the least likely to move.

Families with young children are an important part of the picture of migration in Australia. Just over 46.2% of families that moved elsewhere in Australia between 2016 and 2021 had children under 15 years, compared with 31.2% of families that did not move.

This may be related to younger families moving to bigger housing that is more suitable for growing families.

Families with dependent students (aged 15-24 years) were far less likely to move residence; only 5.8% of families that moved lived with children aged 15 years and over, compared to 9.9% of families that did not move.

Lower mobility rates for families with older children may be related to housing circumstances and a desire not to disrupt children’s education.

The impact of the pandemic on mobility was notable. Over the five-year period to 2021, 160,100 people moved away from Australia’s capital cities.

This was a significantly greater number than the last two Census periods. In 2016 and 2011 there was a net loss of 43,100 people and 72,200 people, respectively. The net loss in 2021 was the result of 835,000 arrivals (up from 774,300 people in 2016) and 995,100 departures (up from 817,400 people in 2016) to capital city areas.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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