Australia has just recorded its highest population growth in 20 years.
And the data about which areas of the nation are growing the fastest shows that the trend we call the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle is continuing strongly.
Western Australia and Queensland continue to be national leaders on price growth, while the two biggest states on population, NSW and Victoria, continue to lose population through internal migration – which means people moving from one part of Australia to another.
The biggest part of that trend is people leaving our two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and moving to smaller cities or to regional areas.
That’s been happening in significant numbers for the past decade and was NOT caused by the Covid lockdowns, as some media reports have suggested.
Those cities are still growing because of overseas migrants coming into Australia and focusing on Sydney and Melbourne, but their growth rates are dragged down because of the number of residents leaving to move to other parts of the country.
Queensland and WA are the biggest recipients of this internal migration and it’s why these two states have such consistently strong population growth rates.
And the latest population figures from the ABS shows that the trend is continuing.
Australians are on move in search of a different lifestyle at an affordable price, enabled in large part by technology which has allowed more and more people to work remotely.
Earlier in 2023, in June, we published other population data which showed that all of the biggest growth areas in Australia over the past five years were in the regions.
The really big growth in terms of percentage growth rates has occurred in the regional centres.
That data showed that the fastest-growing locations among the 50 biggest cities in Australia in the past five years were the Warragul-Drouin region in Victoria, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Geelong in Victoria, Victor Harbor in South Australia, Busselton in Western Australia, Hervey Bay in Queensland and Ballarat in Victoria – and the Gold Coast in Queensland.
The common feature among most of these strong population growth areas is that they are regional cities within striking distance of a state capital city.
The core message is that the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle trend continues and is likely to so for the foreseeable future, as more and more Australians seek to escape the big, congested, expensive cities and find a better lifestyle in more affordable and more relaxed locations.