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ABS data shows inner city migrant boom

5 August 20190 comments

Migrants and international students are largely responsible for a population boom in the inner city areas of Australia’s metropolises, according to new data. 

In just ten years, the inner city populations of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have grown exponentially and also become younger and more diverse, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The inner city population of Melbourne rose by a staggering 78 per cent between 2006 and 2016.

In Brisbane, the inner-city population grew by 22 per cent in the same period and in Sydney, the increase was 33 per cent.

The ABS data shows families with children are moving away to the suburbs, while young adults, singles and childless couples are moving in.

According to urban economist Dr Ian Pringle inner cities dwellings offer more convenience and accessibility to work, study and recreation. But for families, they don’t meet needs in terms of space, amenity and affordability.

He said the trend of young migrants moving into Australia’s cities had transformed them.

“We’ve seen our inner cities become more vibrant and interesting culturally because of this trend,” Dr Pringle said.

“There is a different atmosphere in inner city Melbourne and Sydney from twenty years ago. There is more happening. There are more people about. It has been transformative,” he said.

In all three cities, the 25-34 age group dominates the population, a trend that has escalated since 2006.

The data found most new inner city residents were international migrants. Inner Sydney and Melbourne, particularly, have become culturally diverse between 2006 and 2016.

It found that primarily, people born in the Asia-Pacific region have moved to the inner city, many of them international students and skilled migrants.

At the same time, the traditional dominance of European migrants in Australia has diminished.

The data shows some evidence that while migrants initially choose to live in the inner cities, they eventually move to the suburbs as they settle into society.

And families that choose the inner cities tend to have higher incomes, but also spend more on housing.

Households with children represent a minority of inner city dwellers but they are increasingly living in apartments, as opposed to traditional home.