Compared to the previous quarter, the number of those relocating has declined by 16.5% as regional people begin to move back to the capital cities.  

According to the data from the Commonwealth Bank and the Regional Australia Institute’s Regional Movers Index, Millennials continue to make up the biggest proportion of people moving to regional areas from capital cities. 

Figures also show movers are getting younger. 

In NSW, the median age of the average regional mover fell from 37 years to 33 years pre-pandemic compared to during Covid-19, and from 38 years to 34 years in South Australia, and from 35 years to 33 years in Queensland.

Paul Fowler, Commonwealth Bank regional and agribusiness banking executive general manager, said despite the latest quarterly fall the level of net migration still significantly outweighed the two years before the pandemic.

“Regional economies are booming, many businesses are investing and innovating to strengthen their capabilities and grow, and this is creating new employment options for jobseekers in many regional towns and cities across the country,” Mr Fowler said. 

“This is particularly in key sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing where there continues to be strong production and revenue growth.”

The main destinations for city-dwellers making a regional move were those along the east coast. 

The Gold Coast welcomed 11% of all capital city movers; Sunshine Coast, 6%; Greater Geelong, 4%; Wollongong, 2%; and Lake Macquarie, 2%. 

South Australia continues to hold the highest demand for regional living with the three local governments of Mount Gambier (90%), Port Augusta (63%), and the Yorke Peninsula (50%) recording the biggest growth rates in the 12 months to June 2022.

In New South Wales, Bathurst featured in the top five highest growth LGA’s for the first time with a 39% increase in annual growth.

“Bathurst is renowned for its innovation. There are a growing number of businesses in the region and many exciting projects that are driving employment and growth, benefiting the entire region over the longer term,” Mr Fowler said.


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