View research reports prepared on regional issues including:

  • demographic trends and population change
  • population mobility
  • migration and settlement patterns
  • environmental issues
  • economic trends in employment
  • regional economic development

Other research can be found on the Research and presentations page and the Research Matters bulletin can be found here.

Hanging Rock

Research reports

A Regional Career (2016)

This report presents the findings of a survey of professional workers in Bendigo. By better understanding the professional needs of these workers, effective population strategies to attract and retain people to regional areas can be developed.

Demographics for Fire Risk Analysis (2016)

This report presents mapped data on demographic factors which can affect bushfire risk and recovery. It is published as a joint document between DELWP and GeoScience Australia.

Attraction and Retention (2016)

This report summarises the findings of a 3-year Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project (LP120100212). The research uses longitudinal and survey-based data to gain insights into migration pathways and potential return migration. 

Long Distance Commuting - Stawell Case Study (2013)

This study examines the effects of FIFO commuting by using Stawell as a case study. Faced with the impending closure of the Stawell gold mine, people and businesses in Stawell examined and pursued opportunities to commute to other mines in Australia to utilise their skills base while retaining population.

Population and Settlement along the Victorian Coast (2013)

This report provides background information that has informed the proposed policies relating to planning and managing coastal settlements within the Draft Victorian Coastal Strategy 2013.

Dealing with Extremes - Lake Boga (2012)

This report provides a follow-up to the 2010 study of Lake Boga.

Change and Disadvantage in Regional Victoria (2011)

This series of reports describes disadvantage in Victoria’s regions including Barwon South West, Grampians, Loddon Mallee, Hume and Gippsland.

Change and Disadvantage in Regional Victoria

The Drying Lake: Lake Boga's Experience of Change and Uncertainty (2010)

THis report examines the impact of environmental change on a regional community.

Regional Youth Migration and the Influence of Tertiary Institutions (2009)

This paper provides insights and understanding about the migration patterns of young adults as they move through tertiary education.

These reports utilise data from the department's Towns in Time and Suburbs in Time databases. The reports examine demographic trends over the period of 1981 to 2006 in Victoria's three largest regional centres; Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

Overview report

The overview report (2010) explores several aspects of change, focusing on demographics, dwellings, labour force and education. It concludes with an examination of prospects and challenges for the future.

'Victoria's regional centres - a generation of change' - Overview report (PDF, 584.1 KB) or (DOC, 826.0 KB)

Regional centre reports

The supplementary Regional Centre Reports focus on aspects of suburban change in each of the three cities.

These reports provide maps of disadvantage for suburbs and towns based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD) 2006. The index combines census variables relating to income, education, occupation, wealth and living conditions. Data are also provided to describe the population make-up of the most disadvantaged areas. 

The reports also briefly review the changes that were impacting on disadvantage in regional Victoria at the time of their writing.

View the Change and disadvantage reports below.

Change and disadvantage in regional Victoria: an overview

This report brings together data from all five reports below to give a regional Victoria wide picture.

Change and disadvantage in regional Victoria: an overview (PDF, 2.2 MB) or (DOC, 1.1 MB)

For many regional students, undertaking tertiary education means making a migration decision. Some move to Melbourne while others remain in, or move to, larger regional cities that have university campuses. 

The Youth Migration Study (2009) examines the motivations underlying the migration decisions of young adults, particularly in relation to university education. The research reveals that the greatest challenges will be in retaining young people in regional cities and encouraging them to return home after they have completed their tertiary studies.

These findings provide a better understanding of migration patterns between regional Victoria and Melbourne to support the development of population projections. They can also inform policies, planning and actions aiming to enhance the attractiveness of regional areas for investment and population growth.

Youth Migration Study Report - Part 1

Part 1 reports the findings of focus groups with current university students. 

Youth Migration Study Report - Part 1 (DOC, 1.2 MB)

Youth Migration Study Report - Part 2

Part 2 reports the findings of in-depth discussions with university alumni.

Youth Migration Study Report - Part 2 (DOC, 1.6 MB)

Migration within Australia can significantly affect population growth across Victoria. Unlike births and deaths, which are relatively stable components of population change, the levels and patterns of migration are volatile and can vary widely between places and over time.

An understanding of internal migration trends, drivers and impacts assists in understanding population change in Victoria.

This report is based on data that includes 2001 and 2006 Census data.