Australian Mobility: Trends, Factors, and Impacts on Interstate and Local Moves

Australian Mobility

Australia’s diverse landscapes, thriving cities, and abundant job opportunities have made it a prime destination for people seeking new experiences. As a result, there is a significant level of mobility within the country, encompassing both interstate and local moves irrespective of the moving costs

In this detailed blog, we will explore the reasons why people frequently relocate, the most popular moving destinations, moving patterns, challenges faced during relocations, and the social and economic implications of this phenomenon.

Why do Australians Move Frequently? 

Employment Opportunities:

Australia’s robust and diverse economy offers an array of job opportunities across different industries. People often relocate to cities like Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth, where sectors such as technology, finance, healthcare, and mining thrive. In addition to these sectors, other thriving industries in Australia include construction, manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical services, and rental, hiring and real estate services.

The service sector dominates the Australian economy, contributing about 65% to the GDP and employing 88.6% of its workforce. The mining industry is also a significant contributor to the Australian economy, with earnings growing by $54.3 billion (32.7%) in the 2021-22 financial year. The financial and insurance services industry is another key player in the Australian economy.

Australia’s strong economy and diverse range of industries provide ample opportunities for job seekers looking to start or advance their careers. Whether you’re interested in technology, finance, healthcare, mining or any other industry, there’s sure to be a job that’s right for you in Australia.

Lifestyle and Climate:

Australia’s beautiful landscapes, favorable climate, and coastal regions attract individuals and families seeking a better quality of life.

Australia’s climate is diverse due to its large geographical size. The largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid, with only the south-east and south-west corners having a temperate climate and moderately fertile soil. The northern part of the country has a tropical climate, varying between grasslands and desert. Australia is generally a sunny country, with most of the country receiving more than 3000 hours of sunshine a year.

In contrast to its favorable climate and outdoor recreational opportunities, Australia also has a strong focus on health and wellness. For 80% of Australians, keeping themselves and their families healthy is a top priority. 

Australia’s combination of beautiful landscapes, favorable climate, diverse range of recreational opportunities, and focus on health and wellness make it an attractive destination for individuals and families seeking a better quality of life. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, sports, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the country, there’s something for everyone in Australia. 


Families often relocate to be closer to renowned educational institutions or to secure better opportunities for their children’s education in Australia. 

Australia is home to many prestigious universities, including the University of Melbourne, Australian National University, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, and Monash University, all of which were ranked in the top 100 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020. 

In conjunction to its renowned universities, Australia also offers a range of educational opportunities for children and young people. The Australian Government supports improved educational access for Indigenous Australians, particularly those people living in remote and regional areas where educational opportunities may be limited. 

UNICEF Australia works to support innovative programs here in Australia and across the world so vulnerable children can have access to quality education.

Overall, Australia’s strong education system and diverse range of educational opportunities make it an attractive destination for families seeking better opportunities for their children’s education. Whether you’re interested in primary, secondary or tertiary education, there are many options available to help your child succeed in Australia..

Family and Social Connections:

The need to be closer to family members or to build new social connections is another driving force behind frequent relocations. Being involved in the community and having meaningful connections with other people are determinants of wellbeing. 

Access to support beyond a person’s own household provides a sense of security, and represents a safety net for people in a time of crisis. In 2020, most Australians (93%) reported being able to get support in times of crisis from persons living outside their household, similar to 2019 (94%) (ABS 2021).

Family and social connections play an important role in the wellbeing of individuals and communities in Australia. Whether it’s through support from family members or friends during times of crisis or through involvement in community activities, these connections provide a sense of security and belonging that can enhance overall quality of life. 

Interstate and Local Moves – A Closer Look

Interstate Moves:

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were over 368,700 people who moved interstate in the 2019-20 financial year. 

This represents a decrease of 8.7% from the previous year. People move interstate in Australia for various reasons, including work, educational opportunities, forming relationships, increasing wealth and localised opportunities, and saving money by handling all the stress of moving on their own. In 2017, the most common reason for moving between states was work.(ABS)

Local Moves

In Australia,  University of Queensland researchers who have analysed Census data said local moves within capital cities increased by more than five per cent on average from 2011 to 2016. The largest growth was in greater Perth, where local moves increased by 14 per cent. 

Removals in Sydney increased by 10 per cent and 9.5 per cent in Melbourne, while Brisbane was below the national average at three per cent. The inner-city construction boom is also contributing to residential mobility as people take the opportunity to live in newer dwellings closer to the city centers.

In contrast, local moves are a common occurrence for many people. Whether it’s for personal or practical reasons, moving locally can provide new opportunities and experiences. With the right planning and preparation, a local move can be a smooth and stress-free process.

Challenges Faced During Relocations

Relocating to a new place can be both exciting and challenging. Whether it’s an interstate or local move, there are several challenges that people may face during the relocation process.

Distance and Logistics: 

Australia’s vast geography poses logistical challenges, particularly during interstate moves. Long travel distances can lead to longer transit times and potential complexities in coordinating the move. It’s important to plan ahead and work with a reputable moving company to ensure a smooth relocation process.

Adapting to a New Environment: 

Moving to a different city or region may require adjustments to a new climate, culture, and social dynamics. It can take time to get used to the new surroundings and build new social connections. Joining local clubs or organizations can be a great way to meet new people and get involved in the community.

Housing Market Competition: 

Competitive real estate markets in popular cities can present challenges in finding suitable housing within a desired budget. It’s important to do your research and be prepared to act quickly when you find a property that meets your needs.

Emotional Impact: 

Relocations, especially for seniors or families with children, can have emotional implications, as they leave behind familiar surroundings and social networks. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and take steps to stay connected with friends and family members during the transition.


Between states and suburbs, Australian mobility serves as a captivating and ever-evolving phenomenon. Driven by employment prospects, lifestyle preferences, and the pursuit of a better life, individuals and families embark on interstate and local moves, shaping the nation’s social fabric and economic landscape. 

By understanding the reasons behind frequent relocations, the challenges faced, and the implications of this dynamic trend, Australia can better prepare for the opportunities and responsibilities that come with a nation on the move.

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