Regional Australia grows as country living beats city lifestyle

65,000 more people chose to move to regional Australia from capital cities than the other way around, according to a new Regional Australia Institute (RAI) report tracking population movements between 2011 and 2016.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said The Big Movers: Understanding Population Mobility in Regional Australia report showed more and more Australians were attracted to the lifestyle benefits of our regions.

“Regional Australia is a great place to live and work and the Liberal and Nationals Government will continue to invest in the success and liveability of our regions to ensure it stays that way,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“If the COVID-19 pandemic has proven anything, it’s that you can work from regional Australia and do any job. The jobs that were once only attainable if you lived in a capital city can now be done from anywhere.

“This report will encourage even more Australians who have been considering a move, to discover what regional and rural lifestyles have to offer.”

Minister for Population Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the Morrison-McCormack Government released its updated population plan last September.

“In the plan we reiterated one of our objectives was to support the growth of our regional areas which also helps to bust congestion on urban roads and takes the pressure off housing and other services in major cities,” Mr Tudge said. 

“It’s also great to see the trend of millennials moving to regional areas given so often they can spark life and vitality in these communities by becoming long-term community members.

“Some of the most popular regionals destinations millennials have moved to include the Sunshine Coast, Greater Geelong, Cairns, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Maitland, Greater Bendigo and Lake Macquarie.”

The Big Movers report is available on the RAI website at

Media Contacts: 

Deputy Prime Minister – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860
Minister Tudge – Mike Bennett 0434 782 923