One of the most striking characteristics of the Australian country girl as she appears in popular culture and in rural studies is her dissatisfaction: she lacks, she wants, she endures, or she leaves. But of course Australia, in all its diversity, is also a place to which girls are often strongly attached, even when they feel the need to move away. Understanding the apparent tendency for girls to ‘drift’ from the country to the city requires going beyond popular rhetoric on rural decline and also beyond singular personal stories. In order to think at the level of population, but also in order to consider what is done to encourage or discourage certain choices among girls, we must engage with statistics.