Data on internal migration for the Dec 2020 quarter shows the trend of strong movement from cities into the regions in 2020 continued across the whole year. Across the nation in the fourth quarter about 10,600 people left the capital cities to move to the regions (this comes on top of similar moves in the June and Sept quarters of 11,000). Greater Sydney lost more than 9,300 residents while the Rest of NSW was up more than 4,000. Similar moves were seen in Victoria where Greater Melbourne declined by almost 8,500 while the Victorian regions added a touch under 2,000.
In Queensland Greater Brisbane managed to add another 4,700 (after slightly smaller increases in June and Sept) while the Rest of Queensland added almost 5,000 on top of 4,000 in Sept. To get an idea of the scale of these moves consider that the 5-year average quarterly figures for Greater Brisbane are an increase of 3,400 while for the Rest of Queensland it is just 2,000.
When we consider the Queensland data in more detail we see that 2,749 residents moved from Sydney to the Sunshine State with another 4,098 coming in from Melbourne. The regions of Queensland lost just 777 net residents to Greater Brisbane (on top of just 200 in the Sept quarter) which is down from a 2,035 lose in the same quarter a year ago, but gained 1,600 from Greater Sydney and another 3,000 from Greater Melbourne. Regional NSW and Victoria added another 1,264 and 863 respectively to the Queensland regions’ gains.
Over the course of the year almost a net 43,000 people moved out of capital cities into the regions across the country. Sydney lost 31,500 and Melbourne 26,000 while Brisbane added 13,000. The largest increase in the regions came from Queensland which added nearly 17,000 residents. Compare that to an average for the years from 2010 to 2019 of just 6,600 pa.
UPDATE. Gene Tunny at Adept Economics has posted an interesting piece looking in detail at the Queensland and Victoria data.