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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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What is the Population Explorer?

The Population Explorer is an online tool that uses data from the 2011 Census to show you about the movement of people who moved into, out of and within New South Wales during 2006-11.


It allows you to look at migration in and out of New South Wales, the 10 planning regions, and the 152 Local Government Areas (LGAs) that existed at the time of the 2011 Census.


Select an area you are interested in to see where people are moving to and from, how many people are moving between two areas of interest, and the age profile of these moves. There are also maps comparing each LGA by some standard migration measures that show the likelihood that people will move and the impact on population.


Launch the Population Explorer tool

Migration is about the movement of people

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another, with the intention of settling long term or permanently. This movement can be between suburbs of a city, between rural and city areas, interstate or overseas.


For this tool, migration is measured by comparing where people were living in Australia at the 2011 census with where they were living 5 years before, in 2006. If these addresses are different, this means that they have moved - they are a migrant.


Migration data enables greater insight into how areas are likely to change

Migration is highly age specific, so understanding these age profiles allows for better planning in relation to the infrastructure and services that the people living in different regions will need. Migration data indicate future housing demand, and show where people moving into new developments are likely to be drawn from and the kind of housing they are likely to need.


The tool is hands on and easy to use

Click on its different features to access the full range of information. Try selecting an LGA, then clicking between the interstate and intrastate tabs to see the different levels of migration. If you want to see the age profile of migration between only two areas, click on the area of interest and see if the age profile is different compared to all migration. Click on different age groups to see how the places that people move to and from vary by age.


Warning: exploring migration data is addictive and time consuming!

More information is available

The information used to create this migration mapping tool comes from the 2011 census.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics also publishes migration information from other sources. This includes the movement of people throughout Australia, and the movement of people to and from overseas. Go to the ABS website.


About the tool

The Population Explorer tool has been developed by the team at ARUP Digital and is a world first in terms of creative visualisation as well as providing accurate and meaningful migration measures. Preliminary feedback from the world’s best population geographers at the International Conference of Population Geographies was overwhelmingly positive.

Page last updated: 20/09/2018