A NSW Government website

The effect of international border closures

Overseas migration has varied over the past 20 years, but it has been a large contributor to NSW’s population growth. Net overseas migration dropped because of the border restrictions during the pandemic, which limited arrivals but allowed departures.

Airlines grounded large portions of their fleets in April 2020 and the effect is seen in the overseas migration data. Net overseas migration was negative for the first time in the 3 months to June 2020. NSW lost 3,945 more people than arrived.

However, in the year to 30 June 2020, NSW recorded a net gain of 57,860 people through overseas migration. In the year to 30 June 2021, NSW recorded a net loss of 5,470 through overseas migration.