Thousands Of Reasons Not To Invest In Regional Australia

I know some “experts” recommend investing in regional Australia, but I wouldn’t.

While some regional centres are  great places to live and bring up your kids, they are not the right locations to invest in seed soil grow wealth money coin

Jobs growth is slower there, unemployment is higher, wages growth is generally lower and there is no shortage of land.

And this obviously translates to lower population growth.

This has been confirmed by a new set of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics called “RIME”, or the Regional Internal Migration Estimates.

Recently, the population experts analysed the data.

Here’s a summary of what they had to say:

This chart shows the relative split of population by state and territory.

The orange bars are the regional (ex-metropolitan) part of state.

See how NSW and Queensland make up the majority of Australia’s population living outside a capital city?

They are relatively more dispersed than other states.

Actually Tasmania is the most dispersed but its population is very small.

Share of population by stateterritory

This table shows the mismatch between the amount of population growth going to regional areas, compared to the amount of population living in them.

So for instance in NSW, 36.7% of population lives outside Sydney, but only 25.1% of growth occurred there in the 2009-2014 period, a mismatch of 10.6%.

Victoria is particularly interesting, with 87% of all the state’s growth being in the Greater Melbourne region.

State Regional part of state share of growth Mismatch to share of population
NSW 25.1% -10.6%
Vic 13.0% -11.0%
Qld 47.7% -4.2%
SA 12.4% -10.2%
WA 15.4% -6.1%
Tas 31.2% -26.2%
NT 31.2% -11.5%
ACT 0.0% 0.0%
Australia 24.2% -9.3%

But this is beginning to change

What the regional migration estimates show for 2013/14 is that there is a significant shift, but it’s only affecting one metropolitan area – Sydney.

Is it congestion, extremely high housing prices, or just the presence of larger regional centres with strong economies?

But people are leaving Sydney in significant numbers, and moving to regional NSW, Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

Regional migration by part of state 2013-14

In just one year, Greater Sydney had a net migration loss of nearly 15,000 people

This is more than offset by the large amount of overseas migration the city receives, but it was by far the largest loss to internal migration, and you can see a lot of it is into regional NSW.

In contrast, Melbourne is growing but Regional Victoria added more people through internal migration.

Again, Melbourne gains a lot of overseas migrants to make up for it.

Elsewhere in the country, Adelaide also lost people, as did Tasmania outside Hobart, while both Darwin and the rest of NT lose people interstate.

Both Brisbane and the rest of Queensland had gains.

This is what the picture looks like when you add in the other components of population change, natural increase and overseas migration.

Regional components of population growth

You can see that though regional growth is much smaller, both Regional NSW and Regional Victoria rely in migration from within Australia for a lot of their population growth, while Melbourne, Sydney and to a lesser extent Perth rely on overseas migration.

This is an interesting trend, and it pre-dates the most recent very large increases in housing prices.

We’ll be monitoring this closely, to see if there are more people fleeing Sydney in coming years due to housing prices, and whether this spreads to other capital cities as well.

Source:, the population experts

Want more of this type of information?


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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