Australians are leaving NSW for Victoria at a record rate. Interstate migration figures compiled using Medicare and census data show a net 6900 Australians moved to Victoria in the year to September, more than ever before and more than to any other state.
It is the first time Victoria has beaten Queensland as Australia’s most popular destination.
More than half the new arrivals, about 3800, came from NSW. The tide is equivalent to seven cars per day heading south down the Hume Highway without plans to return. South Australia was in second place, with a net 1630 residents making the trip along the Princes Highway, followed by Tasmania, with 900 relocations.
In part, the net migration figures reflect a new-found determination by Victorians to stay at home. About 2400 fewer Victorians moved interstate than in the year before. Departures for Western Australia were sharply down.
”We are seeing the rebalancing of the Australian economy is playing out in the interstate migration figures,” said Monash University demographer Bob Birrell.
”And it isn’t what people expect. Rather than the decline in manufacturing sending people away from Victoria, the decline in mining is meaning fewer Victorians are heading west and north.
”The next growth industries are education, health and finance.
”They are centred around Sydney and Melbourne, but it is easier to find somewhere to live in Melbourne than it is in Sydney.
”Melbourne has been better at building houses.”
Victoria’s population is growing the fastest in the nation. It gained an extra 110,500 residents in the year to September, eclipsing NSW, which gained 108,100. Victoria’s growth rate of 2 per cent was beaten only by Western Australia whose population rose 3.1 per cent.
Peter Martin, The Age, 28th March 2014