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Queensland – the place to be

Exploring the latest interstate migration data

The ABS released its latest experimental estimates around interstate migration, which might be of interest. First, Queensland experienced a large inflow of people from interstate in the 12 months to September 2020. More than 20,000 people left New South Wales in this time.

Graph representing net gain/loos, interstate migration, 12 months to Sept 2020

Half of all new arrivals to Queensland were from New South Wales and a quarter from Victoria. Tasmanian’s were the least likely to move here (and having tasted their scallops at very reasonable prices, I cannot blame them). Around 12 per cent of our new residents were older than 65, while one quarter were children.

Table and graph of internal migration by arrival destination by state/territory

The majority of interstate migrants move to regional Queensland, with around 58 per cent of all interstate migrants moving to regional Queensland between September 2019 and September 2020.

A graph representing where interstate migrants move in Queensland

There’s been lots of talk about people moving to the country because of the pandemic and in March 2020, more people moved from Greater Brisbane to the regions for the first time since December 2018. By September, this gap was closing again.

The number of interstate migrants moving to the Rest of Queensland was 37 per cent higher in September 2020 compared with September 2019. The number of interstate migrants moving to Greater BriA graph representing comparing where intrastate and interstate migrants movesbane fell by almost 30 per cent between December 2019 and March 2020 but had increased by 56 per cent by September 2020.


Over the last 20 years, Queensland has been the largest recipient of interstate migrants for a major portion of this time, pipped only by Victoria for a bit between 2013-14 and 2016-17 (oh alright, WA beat us once in 2010-11 by 38 people).

Graph representing Interstate migration between 2002 and 2020

Population growth is important for economic growth so it is a positive sign that we continue to experience these levels of interstate migration (if you don’t believe us, may we recommend that you look at Scenario 2 of our Anticipating Future Skills series ?)

Source: ABS, 3412.0.55.005, Regional internal migration estimates, provisional, September 2020


Last updated 15 March 2021