On The Edge Of Town

A change in population is dependent on three things:

  • Natural increase – in short, births versus deaths.
  • Net internal migration – this means movements within the country, including interstate moves but also movements within the same state or territory.
  • Net overseas migration – people moving to Australia from overseas.

South east Queensland: Population growth last year

Urban zones Natural increase Net

internal migration

Net overseas migration Total


Inner city 1,831 2,194 3,983 8,008
Middle ring 7,368 -66 9,393 16,695
Outer suburbs 8,762 9,895 4,622 23,279
Outer conurbation 4,062 13,203 7,301 24,566
Total SEQ 22,023 25,226 25,299 72,548


1. Overall the data highlights that residents are showing a preference for shifting to either the outskirts of major capital cities where new housing is being built at lower prices.

2. Inner Brisbane is also attracting local moves as a proportion of the population – the young especially and in some instances those downsizing – are attracted to downtown living.

3. Some residents are moving away from middle ring locations, particularly those in Brisbane’s southern and western suburbs.  Several questions spring to mind including:  Are we already full?  Is the existing housing now too expensive?  Getting overcrowded?  Lack of amenity?  Or a lack of appropriate new housing stock?

4. Overseas arrivals are largely choosing to move to inner city and middle ring locations as these places hold educational facilities which is one of the main reasons for overseas arrivals to Australia.

5. Overall most of the population growth is taking place some 20 or more kilometres beyond the Brisbane GPO.  This trend, for mine, will now escalate as Brisbane City Council has just implemented some 40 new development and design measures that restricts the housing that many people really want.

My definitions

  • Inner city = within 5km of the GPO
  • Middle-ring = between 5km and 20km of the GPO
  • Outer suburbs = between 20km and 50km of the GPO
  • Outer conurbation = extended urban area, typically consisting of several border towns/cities merging with the outer suburbs of a major city.
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