Footy preferences driving migration choices

migration choices

It might be hard to believe, but your footy code preference may well influence where you end up living, according to new research by respected property market analysts Propertyology.

he market research firm and award-winning buyers’ agency analysed interstate migration trends over the past 20 years and found a significant correlation depending on whether you are a rugby league or an AFL fan.

Propertyology Head of Research, Simon Pressley, said interstate migrants don’t make the decision to move lightly, which often meant they were searching for familiarity as well as opportunity.

“People don’t make a conscious decision to pack up and move cities very often. When they do, the dinner table discussion often revolves around how and where they will find work, housing affordability, and lifestyle,” Mr Pressley said.

“It’s that lifestyle component that appears to create a strong cultural connection between Queensland and New South Wales, and Victoria and Western Australia.

“Sport has always been a key part of Australian lifestyles and the dominant footy code for each state clearly affects household decisions when relocating.”

Given interstate migration generally is influenced by economic factors, it’s no surprise that when one economy is booming it will be the beneficiary of an increasing population, Mr. Pressley said.

That’s why, for more than a decade pre-2012, Queensland and Western Australia were the runaway leaders for population growth because of their strong resource industries. Their respective property markets were also strong.

Mr Pressley said most of that population increase came from the state with the same strong footy code.

From 2012 on, however, it was the turn of Victoria and New South Wales, with new migrants heading to each state from Western Australian and Queensland, respectively, for better employment opportunities.

“New South Wales and Queensland have always been dominant rugby league states so as employment opportunities and cost of housing swing, population tends to also swing between those two states at the same time,” Mr Pressley said.

“In fact, the interstate migration comparisons of New South Wales and Queensland and Western Australian and Victoria is like an inverted mirror when plotted on a graph.”

“This trend has been apparent for many years and shows an obvious connection between states that are culturally linked by their favoured footy codes.”

Between 2002 and 2007, Queensland broke all sorts of records for attracting interstate migrants, while New South Wales consistently lost between 20,000 and 30,000 people per year, according to the Propertyology research.

And it’s a similar connection between Victoria and Western Australia where AFL is almost a religion, Mr Pressley said.

“Whether migration across the Nullabor is heading left or right tends to be heavily determined by the expansion or contraction of workforce decisions from BHP, Rio Tinto, and Chevron,” he said.

“That means that in 2011 and 2012, Western Australia gained 20,000 people from interstate, yet they lost 20,000 people in 2016 and 2017 as the mining downturn continued.”


This article provides general information which is current as at the time of production. The information contained in this communication does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such as it does not take into account your personal circumstances or needs. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information.