The Greater Brisbane statistical area recorded a net loss of 2265 people through intrastate migration in the 12 months before the 2011 census.
Inner-city Brisbane ranks up there with the outback as a place Queenslanders are keen to move away from, according to a census summary report released by the Queensland Treasury Department.
The report, Population Mobility Within Queensland, shows that in the year before the 2011 census 2045, 1920 and 950 people respectively moved from south Brisbane , west Brisbane and outback Queensland to other parts of the state.
The Greater Brisbane statistical area also recorded a net loss of 2265 people through intrastate migration, with more residents choosing to move out of the area than move in.
The bulk of the Brisbanite exodus was to the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, with the southbound seachangers representing one of largest intrastate moves of the year.
But the places Queenslanders were most keen to move to were Moreton Bay North and Fitzroy, and Moreton Bay South, which each welcomed 1000 people.
The director of the Queensland Centre for Population Research at the University of Queensland, Martin Bell, said the intrastate migration patterns were “intriguing because they show net outflows away from the established urban fabric of Brisbane, particularly from the inner urban areas”.
“This is happening despite all the urban consolidation and infill initiatives that have been put in place over the last five years," Professor Bell said. “That's not to say they failed, but that we haven't seen a gain of population in those inner areas as a result of urban consolidation activities from within the state. It does show that a great deal of the growth we have seen in the inner city is coming from interstate and overseas migration.”
Overseas migration had never been more important to the state economy than intrastate migration than it was now, with most settlers from outside the state drawn to established urban areas in south-east Queensland, he said.
“However, local counter-urbanisation is a phenomenon that emerged in Australian in '70s and '80s.
“If you like, there is this pattern that goes on within the settlement system of people [where they] move out of the bush into the city, move out of the city to the middle and outer suburbs, and then from the middle and outer suburbs into coastal, highly attractive, high-amenity areas.”
The net outflow could not be pinned down to a simple "population graduation" process, Professor Bell said.
“Keep in mind that the shift also represents people who are displaced by housing prices in the inner city and people who no longer have to work in the inner city,” he said.
“And where they're settling aren't just retirement destinations; they're maturing as employment nodes in their own right.
“We need to recognise that the whole of the south-east Queensland region is becoming more interconnected as it grows, and we need to make sure we manage that growth effectively.”