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Australians are fleeing Sydney in droves as overseas immigration hits a new record high. 

A record 548,800 migrants moved to Australia in the year to September with the population growth pace of 2.5 per cent the highest since the early 1950s – even as the birthrate plunged.

Sydney, already one of the world’s most unaffordable housing markets, is so expensive many residents are moving interstate in search of cheaper housing as overseas migrants flood in.

In a year, 33,202 residents moved out of New South Wales to another state as 186,433 overseas migrants moved in.

But when the interstate exodus was accounted for, NSW was still having to house 153,231 new residents before 32,893 new births were accounted for.

The big outflow meant NSW had a below-average population growth of 2.3 per cent, lagging behind Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland. 

Meanwhile, Tasmania was the only state to record a zero natural increase rate, based on births minus deaths.

The island state saw 3,079 residents move interstate as 4,400 overseas migrants moved in – a very small net increase of just 1,321 new residents or a minuscule 0.3 per cent population rise.

Aussies are fleeing Sydney in droves as immigration hits record-high levels – and the one state with a zero growth rate

Australians are fleeing Sydney in droves as overseas immigration hits a record high

Sydney’s median house price of $1.396million is significantly higher than Brisbane‘s $899,474 level, based on CoreLogic data. 

Population growth league table

1. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: 3.3 per cent

2. VICTORIA: 2.9 per cent 

3. QUEENSLAND: 2.7 per cent 

4. NEW SOUTH WALES: 2.3 per cent 

5. AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: 2.1 per cent 

6. SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 1.7 per cent 

7. NORTHERN TERRITORY: 0.7 per cent

8. TASMANIA: 0.3 per cent 

Queensland had the biggest interstate migration inflow of 32,625 as 87,954 overseas migrants moved in – for a net increase of 120,579 new residents before 23,010 net births were taken into account.

Queensland’s population growth pace of 2.7 per cent was slightly above the national average of 2.5 per cent. 

Victoria had 161,758 new overseas migrants but only 1,119 leaving for interstate, with Melbourne still having outer suburbs with a median house price under $600,000 like Frankston North and Broadmeadows.

While Melbourne is cold in winter, Victoria is still expanding with a population growth pace of 2.9 per cent – surprisingly Australia’s second highest. 

Mining-rich Western Australia had the second highest interstate migration inflow of 11,233 as 67,629 migrants moved in. 

WA had Australia’s highest population growth pace of 3.3 per cent in a state where Perth’s median house price has surged by 18.6 per cent during the past year to $718,560.

South Australia had 1,007 residents move interstate as 28,587 overseas migrants moved in – for a population growth pace of 1.7 per cent.

Per capita, the Northern Territory had the biggest interstate exodus of 3,606 as just 3,189 overseas migrants moved in, making it the only state or territory where the interstate outflow was bigger than the overseas influx.

The NT population grew by just 0.7 per cent. 

The Australian Capital Territory covering Canberra had 1,845 residents move interstate as 8,792 overseas migrants moved in – giving it a below-average population growth pace of 2.1 per cent.

Australia is now home to 26.8million people. 

Immigration accounted for 83.2 per cent of Australia’s population growth in the year to September, with 548,800 new migrants and 111,100 new births – a natural increase plunge of 3.9 per cent compared with the previous year.

Sydney, already one of the world's most unaffordable housing markets, is so expensive many residents are moving interstate in search of cheaper housing as overseas migrants flood in (pictured is a rent queue in Bondi)

Sydney, already one of the world’s most unaffordable housing markets, is so expensive many residents are moving interstate in search of cheaper housing as overseas migrants flood in (pictured is a rent queue in Bondi)

Immigration at new record high – here’s where they moved

NEW SOUTH WALES: Natural increase, 32,893; interstate migration, minus 33,202; overseas migration, 186,433

VICTORIA: Natural increase, 32,084; interstate migration, minus 1,119; overseas migration, 161,758

QUEENSLAND: Natural increase, 23,010; interstate migration, 32,625; overseas migration, 87,954

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Natural increase, 3,158; interstate migration, minus 1,007; overseas migration, 28,587

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Natural increase, 14,729; interstate migration, 11,233; overseas migration, 67,629

TASMANIA: Natural increase, zero; interstate migration, minus 3,079; overseas migration, 4,400

NORTHERN TERRITORY: Natural increase, 2,82; interstate migration, minus 3,606; overseas migration, 3,189

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: Natural increase, 2,632; interstate migration, minus 1,845; overseas migration, 8,792 

Shortly before the Australian Bureau of Statistics data was released, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called for a vote on immigration policy.

‘Australians have never been permitted to vote on immigration, multiculturalism,’ she told the Senate.

‘When have we been asked or consulted about our population?

‘Governments have continually brought in high levels of immigration, so they say, to stimulate the economy – this is rubbish.’

While Australia’s economy is continuing to grow, there has been a per capita recession since the June quarter of 2023, where output per worker has been going backwards.

Meanwhile, Tasmania was the only state to record a zero natural increase rate, based on births minus deaths (pictured is Hobart's Constitution Dock)

Meanwhile, Tasmania was the only state to record a zero natural increase rate, based on births minus deaths (pictured is Hobart’s Constitution Dock)

Shortly before the Australian Bureau of Statistics data was released, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called for a vote on immigration policy

Shortly before the Australian Bureau of Statistics data was released, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called for a vote on immigration policy



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