Each quarter the ABS publishes demographic data that measures the size of the Australian population and provides details on components of population growth. Over the September 2018 quarter, the national population is estimated to have increased by 109,057 persons to be up 395,101 persons or 1.6% over the 12 months to September 2018.

While nationally the drivers of population growth are net overseas migration and natural increase (births minus deaths), between the states net interstate migration is an important component of population growth. This week’s Pulse looks at the arrivals and departures data for each state and territory.

NSW Net interstate migration to NSW saw the state lose 22,113 residents over the year to September 2018, its largest net loss of residents since March 2008. As the chart shows, the biggest sources of arrivals to NSW over the year were Qld (36,730), Vic (25,876) and ACT (11,728). Arrivals from Vic were the highest they’ve been since June 1993 while arrivals from ACT were the greatest they’ve been since December 1997.

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VIC Annual net interstate migration was recorded at 13,985 persons over the year to September 2018, the lowest it has been since December 2015. The largest source of migration to Vic was NSW (32,688) followed by Qld (22,433) and WA (12,187). Arrivals from Qld were the highest on record while arrivals from Tas (4,195) were the highest since March 2004 and arrivals from ACT (4,076) were also the highest on record.

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QLD Net interstate migration over the year to September 2018 was recorded at 24,316 persons, which although it remains high was slightly lower than the previous quarter. With 52,409 arrivals, NSW accounted for almost 50% (49.45%) of interstate arrivals to Qld over the year. Arrivals from NSW were the highest they’ve been since December 2005. The 24,680 arrivals from Vic were the greatest since June 2004 and the 3,799 arrivals from ACT was the greatest since June 2005.

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SA The state lost a net 4,608 residents due to interstate migration over the year to September 2018, which was its smallest net loss since June 2015. The major sources of arrivals to SA were Vic (6,830), NSW (6,170) and NT (2,290). Arrivals from NSW were the highest they’ve been since March 2005, arrivals from Vic were the highest since December 2007, arrivals from Qld (4,785) were the highest they’ve been since June 2014 and arrivals from ACT (852) were the highest they’ve been since March 2003.

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WA The state has seen a large net loss of residents due to residents leaving for other states over the year (10,304) however; the outflow has slowed to its smallest levels since June 2016. Although WA is shedding many residents, arrivals from NSW (7,970) were the greatest they’ve been since September 2014, arrivals from Vic (7,364) were the greatest they’ve been since September 2015 and arrivals from NT were the greatest they’ve been since December 2015.

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TAS Over the year to September 2018, net interstate migration of 2,370 persons was recorded which was slightly lower than the previous quarter however, net interstate migration remains at the highest levels since June 2004. NSW (3,560), Vic (4,053) and Qld (3,800) were the prime sources of arrivals to Tas. Arrivals from NSW were the highest they’ve been since December 2004, arrivals from Vic were the largest since September 2004 and arrivals from Qld were the largest since March 2008.

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NT The state saw a loss of 3,920 residents due to net interstate migration over the year to September 2018, which was the largest outflow of residents on record. Although NT is losing people to other states, the largest sources of arrivals to NT are Qld (3,848), Vic (2,775) and NSW (2,731). As the accompanying chart shows the number of arrivals to NT from other states is typically trending lower.

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ACT Net interstate migration was recorded at 274 persons over the past year, the smallest gain from net interstate migration since March 2016. With 12,604 arrivals to the ACT, NSW accounted for 56.7% of all arrivals over the past year. The only two other significant states for arrivals were Vic (3,358) and Qld (3,290). While arrivals to ACT were generally trending lower, arrivals from NSW were the greatest on record over the past year.

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Over the year to September 2018, there were 394,193 interstate arrivals across the nation. As the chart shows, Australian’s are becoming more willing to move interstate with the 394,193 arrivals over the past year the greatest number since September 2003.

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While the economies of NSW and Vic remain much stronger than elsewhere, the cost of housing in these states is also much higher than elsewhere. With many places willing to allow greater flexibility around working remotely it is no surprise that the trend towards more interstate movements increasing. We would expect that this trend is set to continue over the coming years.