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Melbourne the powerhouse of population and jobs growth

30 March 20170 comments

Victoria is leading the nation in population growth with migrants from overseas and interstate arriving in the greatest numbers ever seen, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

And, whether it’s a result, or a driver, of this population increase, employment has also boomed with 97,300 extra jobs created in the past year.

Victoria’s population rose by 114,865 – or by 2.1 per cent in the 12 months to September 30.

This was higher than the national average of 1.5 per cent which saw Australia’s population increase by 348,700 to 24,220,200 people.

Natural increase and net overseas migration contributed 44.6 per cent and 55.4 per cent respectively to total population growth for the year to September 2016, with all states and territories recording some positive growth.

ABS estimates of net overseas migration across Australia for the year ending September 30 2016 was 193,200 people – or 8.9 per cent (15,800 people) higher – than the net overseas migration recorded for previous year.

While Victoria recorded the highest growth rate of all states and territories, The Northern Territory recorded the lowest growth rate at just 0.3 per cent, according to the ABS’ report ‘Australian Demographic Statistics December Quarter 2016’.

The ABS data shows Victoria now has a population of 6.1 million people with NSW still the most populous state with 7.75 million.

But the figures show more people are moving to Victoria with 62,800 – or 500 car loads – of people from interstate moving to the state in the past year and just 65,600 leaving for other parts of Australia.

The net increase of 17,200 is an all-time record and Victoria now accounts for 25.2 percent of Australia’s population.

Net foreign migration to Victoria also reached a record of 68,600 and the natural increase, which is arrived at by subtracting the number of deaths from the number of births, is also a record high at 41,700.

Domestic migrants to Victoria came predominantly from NSW (29,500), Queensland (15,200) Western Australia (11,500) and South Australia (9700).

The main destinations for Victorians moving interstate were NSW (23,600), Queensland (20,800) and Western Australia (7100).

ABS projections released with the report show Melbourne overtaking Sydney as Australia’s biggest city as early as 2056.

The central projection puts Melbourne’s population at 8.2 million, almost double the present 4.6 million, and Sydney’s at 8.1 million, up from 5 million.

The slower growth in Sydney reflects congestion and geographical constraints of the sea and a mountain range.

By 2056, Victoria is projected to have a total population of 9.9 million and NSW 11.1 million.

A faster growth scenario has Melbourne well above Sydney at 9.2 million to 8.4 million, and a slower growth scenario has Sydney slightly ahead of Melbourne at 7.7 million to 7.4 million.

Australia’s population is projected to be somewhere between 35 million and 45 million. The central projection is 39.7 million, up from the present 24.3 million.


Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist