More than one third of young Australians from non-metropolitan areas relocate to a major city in the years immediately after leaving school and, although some return, non-metropolitan areas experience a net loss of a quarter of their young people.
This report is the first Australian national longitudinal study of young people’s geographic mobility.
Those making a move to a major city were typically drawn by the pursuit of further study, most often at university. Over the project’s seven year period, approximately 40 per cent of the non-metropolitan youth who had moved to a city were studying either at a university or a TAFE institution or were undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship.
By contrast, those with full-time employment in their non-metropolitan homes were more likely to stay there. Full time employment also worked to keep young people in the city after completing their studies.
The report suggests that young people are leaving their rural communities because those communities are not able to provide as many further education and training, employment and other opportunities as are available in the major cities of Australia.