A new report shows regional New South Wales (NSW) is now the most popular part of Australia for residents moving away from cities.
The state has overtaken Queensland, where a spike of city-dwellers relocated to the regions during COVID-19 lockdowns, according to the Regional Movers Index.
More people left Sydney than any other capital city in the year to September.
Of the total number of Australians who left a capital city for the regions in the year to September, 80% of people moved from Sydney.
While Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart reported fewer residents leaving than a year ago, Perth and Brisbane saw an increase in residents.
Darwin recorded no change.
Regional NSW has become increasingly popular for people moving out of cities since the pandemic.
For example, the number of people who moved to the NSW Snowy Valleys from the city more than tripled during July-September.
The report showed millennials (born 1981-1996) are the most likely to leave the cities to build new lives in regional Australia.
Regional Australia Institute CEO Liz Ritchie attributed the rise of younger people moving away from the cities to good job prospects and the promise of “better house prices and availability” in regional areas.
Rents are also rising at a lower rate in regional areas compared to capital cities.