Stats show city-dwelling Australians are flocking to the country, or at least want to. 

The latest data from the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) reveals that over three million Aussies are ready to swap skyscrapers for sprawling landscapes.

This rural migration trend has prompted RAI to release its inaugural progress report on its ‘Regionalisation Ambition’, titled “A Framework to Rebalance the Nation” (PDF). 

The ten-year, twenty-goal plan aims to boost rural prosperity while alleviating urban congestion.

RAI's blueprint calls for increased government investment in rural workforce development, enhanced liveability through improved infrastructure and facilities, amplified productivity and innovation, and a more evenly distributed population across the country. 

Liz Ritchie, RAI's CEO, bluntly warns that without such investment, Australia is hurtling toward a future dominated by overcrowded mega-cities.

However, the bush is not just a land of opportunity; it is a cultural haven. 

Surveys reveal that the social and cultural aspects of rural communities are the prime attractions for city-dwellers, ultimately contributing to higher life satisfaction levels in the countryside.

Despite the appeal, hiring in rural areas is growing increasingly challenging. 

The RAI report shows that 69 per cent of regional employers have faced difficulties filling advertised positions in the past year, up from 64 per cent in 2022. 

A significant stumbling block is housing shortages.