Gold Coast

Latest Census data shows where people are moving within Australia

by Ray Clancy on October 30, 2017

in General Information

If you are living in Australia seeking a change of scene then you are more likely to have moved to Queensland than any other part of the country, official figures show.

Queensland, known as the sunshine state, has seen the highest number of interstate arrivals over the past five years with 220,000 people moving there, according to the latest data from the Census to be published.

Queensland Gold Coast

(Martin Valigursky/

It was the most common destination for people leaving New South Wales and the Northern Territory, while people leaving South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania most commonly moved to Victoria.

The data also shows that New South Wales and Victoria had the highest migration from overseas and the high number of newcomers from overseas is a key factor in the population growth in these states.

An analysis of the figures also shows that the education and training sector had the fastest growing labour force of any industry in Queensland. The largest work sector is still health care and social assistance, which has increased by 14% from 2011 to 2016 and is the largest employing industry in the Census nationwide.

Professionals was the largest broad occupation category in the state and the country, including areas such as the arts and media, business, design and engineering, science and transport.

Management and commerce overtook engineering and related technologies to become the most popular field of study and the third biggest field, society and culture, was also the fastest growing over the past five years, with the number of people with qualifications in the area rising 33%.

Meanwhile, construction was the fastest growing industry in New South Wales with health care the biggest, as in Queensland, up 16% from 2011 to 2016 while the state’s top three fields of study recorded in the Census remained the same from 2011 to 2016 with management and commerce employing 784,000 people, engineering and related technologies with 514,000 and society and culture some 413,000.

Society and culture, which includes subjects such as political science, law and economics, was the fastest growing field of study over the past five years, with the number of people with qualifications in the area in New South Wales increasing by 27%.

The data also tells us that in the year leading up to the Census, 67,000 people moved to Victoria from around Australia. It was the number one destination of choice in the Census for people leaving South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. A total of 183,000 recorded that they moved to Victoria of which almost two thirds moved from overseas.

The real estate industry recorded a bigger increase in employees than any other in Victoria, a rise of 23% in 2016 while in Western Australians people are increasingly working in fields such as sports and the performing arts making it the state’s fastest growing industry by employment.

According to Census programme manager Bindi Kindermann, one of the stand out trends was a 25% rise in the number of people who recorded that they were employed in the arts and recreational services industry in Western Australia.


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