Back To Listing

Movement in Perth CBD at 76% of pre COVID-19 levels

Source: Roy Morgan collaboration with UberMedia who provide anonymous aggregated insights using mobile location data. Note: Movement data for Perth CBD excludes residents of the Perth CBD.

A special analysis of movement data in the Perth CBD during mid-August shows movement at an average of only 76% of pre COVID-19 levels three months after WA restrictions were relaxed to allow cafes and restaurants to provide meal service to patrons in mid-May as part of ‘Phase 2’.

The weekday movement data in the Perth CBD hit a low during the first half of April but has consistently, and slowly, increased on a week-by-week basis over the last four months. Western Australia has kept cases of COVID-19 to a minimum due to a hard border closure to the rest of Australia that persists to this day.

The low number of cases has allowed the State to proceed through a six phase re-opening process that began in mid-April. WA is due to move to ‘Phase 5’ in late October as all internal restrictions are set to be removed with only the hard border remaining.

Roy Morgan has partnered with leading technology innovator UberMedia to aggregate data from tens of thousands of mobile devices to assess the movements of Australians as we deal with the restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interactive dashboard below tracks the movement data for people visiting the Perth CBD during 2020, excluding the CBD residents. Movement data from several key locations around Australia is also available to view by using the interactive dashboard.

Daily Analysis of Movement Data for Perth CBD in 2020

Source: Roy Morgan collaboration with UberMedia who provide anonymous aggregated insights using mobile location data. Note: Movement data for Perth CBD excludes residents of the Perth CBD. 

The share of movement of different Helix Persona communities in Perth CBD largely matches the pre-pandemic levels – albeit at only three-quarters of pre-pandemic levels

The number of visitors to the Perth CBD has declined significantly during the pandemic and even in mid-August, several months after restrictions began to ease in Western Australia movement is at only around three-quarters of the levels earlier in the year.

Unlike many of its counterparts interstate the share of movement data for the Perth CBD in mid-August largely matches that of the summer months – albeit at a lower overall level.

Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas provide insights into the type of people most likely to be found visiting the Perth CBD 

  • When it’s important to understand not just how many but who, Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas ( translate ‘device data’ into types of people. The two Helix Personas communities that dominate the share of movement data in the Perth CBD are the 100 Leading Lifestyles (30%): focused on success and career and family, big spenders and enjoy cultured living to the max.

Metrotechs (27%) are socially aware, successful, career focused, culturally diverse, trend and tech focused. They are committed experience seekers, willing to spend big on the best of city life and thrive on being out and about in the world.

The Leading Lifestyles community has seen a small increase in their share of movement, up 2% points to 30%, but this is still the most significant change of any of the six communities. People in the Leading Lifestyles Community are the successful career-oriented professionals able to spend up big and they are a vital part of returning the CBD to a prosperous state as more people return to the office.

The young and trendy Metrotechs now comprise 27% of the movement data in the CBD, virtually unchanged from the 28% pre-pandemic. The consistently high share for Metrotechs isn’t surprising when one considers this community is concentrated in inner urban areas within 5km of the CBD and these people are visiting the city not only to go to work but also for food, drink and for other recreational activities.

Other communities are also virtually unchanged in their share of movement in the Perth CBD in August compared to the pre COVID-19 period include Aspirationals unchanged at 17%, Hearth and Home down 1% point to 12%, Doing Fine unchanged at 10% and Fair Go unchanged at 4%.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says Western Australia has had a successful response to the pandemic with the strong border policy implemented since late March ensuring there has been no ‘Second Wave’ of COVID-19 despite outbreaks in other States: 

“Western Australia entered a period of Stage 3 lockdown at the end of March, along with the rest of Australia, which restricted people from leaving home to only four essential reasons: work, exercise, buying essentials such as food and drink and seeking medical care.

“The lockdown saw movement in the Perth CBD plummet to under 40% of normal levels during April before the Stage 3 lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted starting on April 27 with in-person dining resuming in cafes and restaurants resuming in mid-May.

“There has been a steady increase in movement in the Perth CBD on a week-to-week basis since mid-April but even so, three months after the lifting of the harshest restrictions, movement in the Perth CBD remains at only 76% of the pre COVID-19 levels in mid-August.

“A special Roy Morgan survey conducted in April-May 2020 showed 31% of workers in Perth were ‘working from home’ during this period. Workers have returned to the office in recent months as restrictions have lifted but there are still many continuing to work from home.

“A look at the movement data for the Perth CBD shows Leading Lifestyles comprise the largest share of visitors at 30%, up slightly by 2% points on the pre COVID-19 pandemic level of 28%.

“The return of the Leading Lifestyles community to the Perth CBD is vital to the reinvigoration of the city as the community is comprised of successful and career focused individuals who enjoy ‘living life to the max’ and are big spenders ‘to boot’.

“Keep an eye on the Roy Morgan-UberMedia dashboards for your Capital City to closely monitor how Australians continue to react to the threat posed by COVID-19.”


Michele Levine – direct: 03 9224 5215 | mobile: 0411 129 093 |

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is Australia’s largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state, as well as in the U.S. and U.K. A full-service research organisation, Roy Morgan has over 75 years’ experience collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

About UberMedia

UberMedia provides the highest quality mobile data solutions to creatively solve businesses persistent challenges. The company’s products process billions of social, demographic, and location signals daily across retail, automotive, and entertainment to better understand modern consumers with the most accurate business decision science.
Roy Morgan Helix Personas

Learn more by visiting