Young movers driving regional growth

Young people are moving to regional areas like Rockhampton in droves.

Regional migration is at a five-year high and young people driving growth, according to new data from the Commonwealth Bank and the Regional Australia Institute’s Regional Movers Index.

More Millennials and Gen-Xers are moving out of capital cities, according to new insights from the March quarter report.

The Rockhampton region’s migration increased by 39 per cent over the March 2022 to December 2021 quarter and eight per cent from March 2021 to March this year.

Movement to the Livingstone Shire Council was down by 15 per cent over the March year on year comparison.

Migration to the Central Highlands was up by 92 per cent in the March 2022 to December 2021 quarter, but down in the annual March comparison.

Young people accounted for the largest proportion of movers to the highest growth regional areas, boosting an overall migration trend from capital cities to regional areas, in the 12 months to March 2022.

The number of people moving to regional areas rose by 16.6 per cent to reach a new five-year high in the March quarter, almost doubling pre-pandemic levels.

The Gold Coast in Queensland remains the most popular destination overall, attracting 11 per cent of people from major capitals, in the 12 months to March 2022.

The next most popular destinations were the Sunshine Coast, Greater Geelong in Victoria, and Wollongong and Newcastle in NSW.

The biggest outflows were from the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne with most people heading to regional NSW, Queensland, and Victoria.

Regional Australia Institute (RAI) Chief Executive Officer Liz Ritchie said Millennials and Gen-Xers were welcome additions to any regional community as they often bring with them business skills to grow the local community, as well as families who integrate into the local school system and community sporting activities.

“Regional living is attracting more young people and particularly younger families who are looking for bigger living spaces at a cheaper cost,” Ms Ritchie said.

Commonwealth Bank Regional and Agribusiness Banking Executive General Manager Paul Fowler said regional areas were providing attractive local employment opportunities.

Demographic breakdown:

• Gen Alpha and Z: Younger than 24 years

• Millennials: 24-40 years

• Gen X: 40-56 years

• Baby Boomers: 56-75 years

• World War II: Older than 75 years