- New ABS statistics show thousands of people moved interstate to WA over the course of the pandemic
- WA enjoyed a net interstate migration increase of 11,423 between 2020 and 2021
- New South Wales and Victoria's extended lockdowns and restrictions resulted in major net losses of residents
- WA's strong jobs market and housing affordability helped drive record influx
- WA's strong jobs market continuing, with new data showing internet job vacancies at an all-time record high
Western Australia's strong management of the pandemic saw thousands of people from interstate migrate west to escape extended lockdowns in the Eastern States, new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows.
The pandemic spurred a record level of interstate migration between 2020 and 2021, with WA seeing an influx of people, as States like New South Wales and Victoria endured extended lockdowns and restrictions.
Compared to pre-COVID years, WA enjoyed a net interstate migration increase of 11,423 people.
In net terms over this time, NSW shed 54,466 residents and Victoria lost 31,726.
Over the same period, 3,737 people moved from NSW to WA in net terms.
WA had its largest ever quarterly interstate migration inflow in the final months of 2021 with more than 13,000 people moving west, following a year and a half of harsh lockdowns and restrictions in other States.
WA's housing affordability and very strong jobs market throughout the course of the pandemic helped drive these results.
New data from the National Skills Commission also shows WA's sustained strong jobs performance over the course of the pandemic is continuing, with internet job vacancies at their highest on record.
New figures show there were 34,392 internet job vacancies in the month of June, which is about 6.7 per cent higher than the previous record. Job vacancies in WA are more than double their pre-COVID level in February 2020.
The McGowan Government is continuing efforts to attract people from interstate and overseas to relocate to WA, with the Build a Life in WA and Like No Other campaigns.
The campaigns, which initially targeted other Australian States, have been expanded to attract people from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland - with a focus on encouraging skilled workers to relocate to WA.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Western Australia's strong pandemic management allowed our State to avoid much of the heartache and economic disruption seen around the country over the past two years.
"Since the height of the pandemic, Western Australia experienced only 12 days in lockdown, with limited restrictions and an open, largely COVID-free lifestyle.
"This was compared to the extended lockdowns and enduring harsh restrictions in other States, some of which went on for months at a time.
"This new ABS data shows high numbers of Australians, fatigued by their pandemic experience in other parts of the country, took the opportunity to move to Western Australia.
"During the pandemic, we made sure to provide opportunities for people from other States to relocate permanently to WA, to find employment in our strong jobs market and take advantage of housing affordability and terrific lifestyle.
"The record interstate migration we experienced at the end of 2021 demonstrated that there was demand around the country to escape the difficult conditions in other parts of the country and enjoy what Western Australia had to offer.
"This data is a very positive sign as we continue efforts to Reconnect WA, around the country and the world.
"This includes attracting skilled workers, tourists and international students, helping to address our skills needs, create jobs and diversify our economy.
"New jobs data shows WA's jobs market continues to perform strongly, defying the impacts of the pandemic with job vacancies at their highest on record.
"What makes our State so attractive compared to others is that we have the highest average salary and the lowest average mortgage.
"So anyone wanting to earn a good wage while paying less on their home loan should look to WA."
Premier's office - 6552 5000