Almost 40 per cent of Australians aged between 18-29 are planning to leave the country within the next year, new research shows.

The study found lifestyle and quality of life was the number one reason Australians wanted to move overseas, closely followed by cost of living and housing affordability concerns.

The AustraliaNOW study by Quantum Market Research predicted Australia would face critical workforce shortages as people looked to relocate overseas.

Overall, more than one in five Australians were considering leaving the country, and this would cause a population decline of around 600,000 in the next year.

“With an increasing proportion of Australians intending to migrate internationally and Australia’s net overseas migration not set to fully recover until 2024, the nation is predicted to face a potential ‘cumulative’ loss of over 600,000 people,” the report said.

It said young people were driving those numbers.

“The data shows it is younger Australians aged under 40 who are most likely to be looking to move internationally, and this is a concern because…they are the ones who are being relied upon to cover workforce shortfalls,” QMR chief executive, Imogen Randell said.

She said many young Australians were already working overtime for employers who were struggling to find suitable staff to fill the void created by the lasting impact of Covid.

“There are already workforce shortages, and with the looming gap, we will have to look at levers including skills training and particularly migration to fill positions across all sectors from unskilled to highly skilled roles,” she said.

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