Dr Kim Houghton, the RAI's Chief Economist and Acting CEO said: "With two years of the Index we can now clearly see the impact that COVID has had on people seeking a regional lifestyle. It is particularly exciting that many of the smaller regions showing high rates of growth are inland towns. It looks like the pandemic is changing some long-established movement paths, which is a good sign for more balanced population growth across Australia in the future."
While net migration to the regions remains strong, the number of people relocating to the regions in the December 2021 quarter was down 10 per cent compared to the previous quarter. This was partly due to the high movement already seen in previous quarters, as well as seasonal conditions, and accelerated regional housing price growth.
Looking at the full year, the Gold Coast remained the most popular destination among metro-movers in 2021, welcoming 11 per cent of all people who moved from capital cities. The Sunshine Coast wasn’t far behind (5 per cent), followed by Greater Geelong (4 per cent) and Wollongong (3 per cent).
Australia’s two largest capital cities saw the majority of net outflows in 2021, with Sydney and Melbourne representing 53 per cent and 46 per cent of net outflows respectively.
Throughout 2021, New South Wales absorbed 50 per cent of the net inflows of people moving to regional Australia, while Queensland and Victoria each picked up 20 and 21 per cent of the inflows respectively.
The areas recording the strongest annual growth in migration through 2021 were located in Queensland and South Australia, with SA’s Port Augusta topping the list (54 per cent growth), followed by the Queensland local government areas of Douglas (49 per cent) and Western Downs (48 per cent).
Notes for Editors:
The Regional Movers Index, launched in 2021, tracks movements between Australia’s regions and capital cities, using Commonwealth Bank data from relocations amongst its 10 million customers. This enables early identification of growth trends and flags places emerging as hot spots needing fresh thinking on housing and infrastructure.
Data based on CBA customer address changes over the past 5 years, and addresses resided in for at least 6 months. Greater Capital City/Regional Area based on ABS 1270.0.55.001 GCCSA. At least 100 persons must have migrated to LGA to be counted.