According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), almost half a million Australians move from one state in Australia to another state in the country every single year. We are on the move! Moving in Australia is on the rise after a period of slower movement over the past decade. Some claim the number of people moving is due to the economic climate, with many people moving to our major cities to follow the ever-changing job market. On the other hand there are others seeking a sea change or are retiring to smaller and cheaper cities and rural towns while students are still leaving the nest and moving to university cities and towns across the nation.

No matter the reason, it’s clear that some areas of the country are experiencing an influx of people from interstate, while other cities and towns are seeing more people moving than staying. At least that’s the conclusion one reaches after crunching the numbers from the ABS and Australia’s premier removals and relocations company, Allied, who have uncovered the moving habits of Australians.

Where are Australians Moving?

In 2015-16 the number of Australians migrating interstate were:


It should come as no surprise that Australia’s most populous states generate the highest number of interstate moves, with New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland all recording moving figures that far outweigh their non-easterly counterparts. During 2015-16, it was estimated that 366,400 people moved interstate, an increase of 8.1% from the number of people who moved during the previous year. In 2014-15, there were 339,000 people who moved interstate, a decrease of 2.9% from the number of people who moved in 2013-14 (349,000 persons). It’s clear that Australians are more than happy to pack up their worldly possessions and start the next chapter of their life in a brand new state. But where are they moving interstate to?



is the number one destination for individuals and families moving interstate in Australia. Sunshine, surf and significantly cheaper housing makes for the perfect destination to relocate. The state’s Treasurer Curtis Pitt summarised the shift perfectly:

“The one thing we know is if you come to Queensland, you’re going to get more affordable housing, lower state taxes and you’re going to get a better rugby league team” Curtis Pitt: Queensland Treasurer

Queensland is home to plenty of strong regional cities where jobs and lifestyle factors coincided with affordable property prices. Toowoomba for an example, an inland city located an hour and a half’s drive from Brisbane is particularly popular with students, it’s got a strong education sector with some top-quality private schools and universities, and a typical house costs about $350,000. In Sydney or Melbourne you’re going to get a cupboard for that!

In recent years, Allied have also noticed a significant uptake in the number of Victorians moving interstate to Queensland, with a staggering 45% increase in interstate moves to Queensland originating from Victoria in the past 2 years. South Australians are following suit and packing up their worldly possessions in greater numbers before heading north for the warmer climates, relaxed lifestyle and affordable housing available in tropical Queensland.


New South Wales

wasn’t too far behind, all but fuelling the flames of the State of Origin rivalry, with 1,700 less interstate arrivals than their northerly neighbours. Australia’s largest state still commands attention from those planning to relocate interstate in the Land Down Under, due largely to a rich arts scene with loads of museums, galleries, theaters, and of course, the Sydney Opera House, along with a host of markets, festivals, bars, beaches, and parks, not to mention excellent employment opportunities.

While the temperature might not reach quite the same highs as Queensland, the state spends much of the year in full sunshine, which means the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the harbor is sparkling, and the cafes are buzzing most of the time.

“There’s an ease that I have living in Australia. The best things about Sydney are free: the sunshine’s free, and the harbour’s free, and the beach is free.” Russell Crowe: Gladiator

Allied can all but confirm these trends, with interstate moves to New South Wales originating from the ACT and South Australia being the only Australian states and territories recording an increase in the past few years. All other Australian regions have recorded a reduction in relocations to New South Wales in recent times.



recorded 82,000 arrivals in 2015-16 and with Melbourne also consistently ranked the most liveable city in Australia (if not the world) by several leading surveys, so it’s no wonder Australians are flocking south in droves. Home of Australia’s best coffee, Victorians love their cafes, restaurants, bars, markets, delis and wineries. Perhaps as a result, or perhaps as a driver, employment in Victoria has surged by 97,300 in the past year, accounting for almost all of the nationwide employment growth of 104,600.

“I love coming home to Melbourne. The first thing I do is have a coffee. It’s just so much better here than anywhere else.” Curtis Stone: Australian Chef

Sport is the unofficial religion in Victoria. If you’re moving to Victoria, you might want to find out about AFL, the A League, the Australian Open, the F1 Australian Grand Prix, and the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. It’s hard to find a Victorian who doesn’t follow the AFL, or the A League so you might want to choose a team to follow if you want to contribute to the weekly water cooler banter.

Allied have been helping individuals and families alike, move their personal effects to Victoria from Western Australia in HUGE numbers in the past year. The slowdown in the mining boom has definitely caught up with Australia’s Western region, with a 10% increase in moves to Victoria in the past year. Interstate moves from New South Wales to Victoria also saw a notable increase the past year with almost 16% more moves to Australia’s most liveable city.


South Australia

recorded a net population loss of 6,400 persons as more and more people relocate interstate in droves for greener pastures. It’s becoming a regular occurrence – another day, another South Australian lost to the shimmering lights of Sydney or hipster laneways in Melbourne, while others are heading as far away as Queensland and the Northern Territory.

There’s no doubt South Australia is a fabulous place to grow up. With top schools and universities that rival any across the world, and the opportunity to live in a better backyard than anyone could hope for. For the most part, South Australian children are brought up with good values in wholesome homes. And then they have left for much better opportunities and, let’s face it, better pay and the prospect of a more exciting lifestyle.

“Adelaide’s charms are compelling. It’s not a huge place; the size is manageable, the traffic absurdly light.” Miriam Margolyes (OBE): English Actress

In the 2016-17 financial year, Australia’s leading interstate removals company, Allied recorded a 34% increase in the number of South Australians packing up their worldly possessions and relocating to the sun drenched shores of Queensland, with an equally notable uptake (+37%) in the number of individuals and families, both young and old making the move to the Northern Territory.


Western Australia

is another State where the interstate migration trend has changed considerably, but this State’s demographic trends have a strong link to the resource economy. It’s only three years ago that WA was recording very high rates of population growth, driven by large increases not only in interstate migration, but also overseas migration. Of course this was at the peak of the mining boom, when demand for labour was very high.

“I love Perth. It is my home, and no matter where I am in the world, Perth is where my heart is.” Kerry Stokes (AC): Australian Businessman

During the past year Allied recorded a significant reduction in the number of Australians making the move to Western Australia, all but confirming the migration trends tied closely to the resource sector. Residents of the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania have seemingly given up on the dream of moving west, with all these states recording a greater than 25% drop in the number of moves to Western Australia. All other Australian states except for South Australia (+5%), recorded a reduction in move out west.

Western Australia was previously the fastest-growing state but its population growth rate has fallen sharply (by about 70% since 2011-12), driven by the demise of the mining boom. Previously, more people moved to Western Australia from the other states than in the other direction. Now, that trend has reversed.



is one state in Australia where population growth has remained reasonably steady in recent times. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2015-16 Tasmania welcomed an additional 42 residents when viewing their Net Interstate Migration (NIM). NIM is the net gain or loss of population through the movement of people from one state or territory of usual residence to another and it is an important component required to calculate Australia’s estimated resident population at the state and territory.

In recent years, Australia’s population has become increasingly concentrated in its largest cities, and several big cities are growing at well above the average Australian population growth rate. Bucking the trend is Tasmania, even with its affordable housing, natural attractions, relaxed lifestyle, amazing food and wine, and burgeoning art and culture scene. Obviously, Hobart could work on its weather, but we’re in discussions with the Bureau of Meteorology about that.


The Northern Territory

has recorded negative population growth for the eighth consecutive year . In 2015-16 the Northern Territory welcomed an additional 14,800 interstate arrivals, but farewelled 17,500 Territorians, a decline of 2,700 persons. People leaving the NT were generally choosing to move to Victoria and Queensland, the only states that experienced a notable net rise in interstate migration.

“The Territory can be an economic powerhouse but that requires the right vision and plan in place.” Michael Gunner: Leader of the Opposition (Northern Territory)

According to moving data from Australia’s premier removals company, Allied, Queensland is the number one destination for Northern Territory locals relocating interstate, closely followed by New South Wales and Victoria. The drop has been so large the NT’s population would have fallen in the past four years had there not been a record number of overseas migrants.


The Australian Capital Territory

is still attracting an increasing number of interstate migrants, despite the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting negative population growth in the nation’s capital, in particular, those moving their worldly possessions from New South Wales (+43%), Victoria (+54%) and South Australia (+110%).

The moving data supplied by Allied shows an increasing number of Australians making the move to Canberra from some of Australia’s largest cities. Is it the lure of a great career opportunity combined with Canberra’s enviable lifestyle? Maybe individuals and families want to live closer to work and enjoy a fast, stress-free commute? Or perhaps it’s time to live in a city that connects you with nature everywhere you go? Whatever the case may be, Canberra and the ACT offers a great deal to anyone considering relocating in Australia.

Considering an Interstate Move in Australia?


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We offer a complete door-to-door interstate removals service

Choosing where to live when moving to a new country is a major decision. It can have a big impact on how comfortable you feel in your new surroundings and on how successful your relocation becomes.

The main advice the team at Allied have for anyone planning to relocate interstate in Australia is to be organised. There is so much to plan and you can’t do it all at once. Work out what can be done months in advance (like buying a house) and what can only be done closer to your move (like renting a house). There is no point stressing about the aspects of your move that can’t yet be actioned.

Of course relocating is about much more than just the house you plan to live in. It takes time and effort to relocate the other parts of your life too. Depending on your circumstances you may need to consider schooling and childcare, sports clubs, your pets and other recreational needs. You need to think about how you will immerse yourself into a new community, and this takes time.

Moving can be stressful

Speak with Allied about services to ease the stress.