Back to overview

Quarterly net internal migration, greater capital cities combined, March 2011 to March 2021

COVID-19Housing & homelessness

The increased flexibility of working arrangements is also believed to be a strong factor prompting the quantifiable spike in out-migration from capital cities seen in 2020 and 2021. At the same time, as recently highlighted by the Regional Australia Institute (2021), the COVID-19 crisis appears to have caused a marked drop in migration from regional areas to capital cities – down by 11% in 2020 compared with the previous year. Thus ‘regional people have been staying in place in regions in far great numbers’ (ibid p.14). A decline in the flow of people departing to state capitals is likely to have impacted on housing markets to the extent that fewer dwellings will have been coming up for sale or rent.

It should be noted that while this figure is presented as including all capital cities, the underlying ABS data show that recent outmigration has been, in fact, entirely confined to Sydney and Melbourne. The relatively limited scale of the movement recorded must also be borne in mind.

Privacy Preference Center