Are people moving more often?

At the Stephen Smith versus Julie Bishop education debate at the Melbourne Institute on Thursday, they discussed their mutual plans for a national curriculum. While I think this a bad idea, the aspect that appeals to many people is helping people who move interstate. Smith claimed that we are an increasingly mobile society. But is this true?

Back in 2004, I wrote a post questioning this conventional wisdom. I reported then:

The first time the census asked about any residential move in the last 5 years, in 1971, 60.6% had not moved. The last time they asked, in 2001, it was 57.6%.

Most of these moves are to places nearby. Only 4.8% of the population moved interstate between 1996 and 2001, compared to 4.4% between 1966 and 1971. The 4.8% is the lowest rate since the 1971 to 1976 period; it peaked at 5.5% between 1986 and 1991

Since then, of course, we’ve had another census. Though the ABS has not yet put out a publication on population mobility, the census website allows you to create tables yourself on many topics, including internal migration (I wish they would do this for other datasets).
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