Australians still on the move

11 December 2012 | CO/68

Australian residents are as mobile as ever, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealing 41.7 per cent of Australian residents had moved in the five years prior to Census night, on 9 August 2011.

The latest in a series of analytical articles, Still on the Move, examines internal migration across Australia between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses.

The latest Census figures published by the ABS show that 4.6 million Australians moved locally and a further 3 million people are defined as 'new residents' as they made more substantial moves, either from outside the local area or from overseas.

Census Products and Services Director Alan Wong said the article gives an important insight into how internal migration can change the population size and composition in both the area people leave and the area they move to.

“Australia has seen 1.8 million new residents move from different areas within Australia, and 1.2 million new residents arrive from overseas since 2006,” Mr Wong said.

“Of the 1.2 million who lived overseas in 2006, 871,000 were people who first arrived in Australia between 2007 and 2011.”

Figures show 60 per cent of new residents in capital cities lived overseas five years ago. In addition, new residents aged 15 years and over in capital cities were more likely to be students (28 per cent) than new residents in all other areas.

“People relocate for many reasons. They may move for work or study, to be closer to family or move in with a partner, to find more suitable housing or a preferred environment. Family breakdown, changes in financial circumstances or the search for affordable housing can also lead to a move,” Mr Wong said.

“Coastal centres attracted a mix of younger and older movers for work, study and retirement while the flow of younger people to inland centres for study and work contributed to a younger median age (29 years).”

Further information is available in Still on the Move. This is one of a series of articles to be progressively released in Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census (cat. no. 2071.0).

The series and data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing is now available on the ABS website.

Visit www.abs.gov.au/census.