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Victoria on the move – 10 million by 2051

19 July 20160 comments

Victoria’s population is expected to exceed 10 million by 2051 but most people will still be living in metropolitan areas, according to a new report.

The latest predictions from the Victoria in Future 2015 paper suggest migration, increased birth rates and life expectancy will add 3.4 million people to greater Melbourne in the next 35 years.

Greater Melbourne will be home to 7.8 million people and the regions 2.2 million.

The growth will be driven by 2.7 million migrants, who will come from overseas and around 95,000 interstate migrants; as well as the leveling out of more than 40 years of declining fertility rates with more children per capita expected to be born in 2051 than in 2000.

Greater Geelong, Ballarat and Greater Bendigo are expected to account for half of Victoria’s regional growth to 2031.

An additional 2.2 million homes will need to be built by 2051 in order to house all of Victoria’s residents.

“Victoria reviews how it manages growth and develops infrastructure and services every year, with Victoria in Future – which was released on Friday – put out annually,” said Planning Minister Jill Hennessy.

“We are planning for a bigger, better and even more liveable Victoria by investing in infrastructure, creating jobs and encouraging more housing close to services, transport, education and employment,” Ms Hennessy said.

Predictions also show 22 per cent of Victoria’s population will be over 65 by 2051, up from 14 per cent in 2011.

Lone person households will rise to 28 per cent of all households by 2015, up from 25 per cent currently.

Couples without children will make up 27 per cent of households, up from 26 per cent currently. Families with children will make up 40 per cent of all households, down from 43 per cent currently.

Wyndham, Casey and Whittlesea will see the largest growth in population with the local government areas respectively receiving 193,000, 173,000 and 156,000 extra residents. The City of Melbourne will see its population grow by 120,000.

The report says net overseas migration (NOM) has been the strongest driver of population change in Victoria and Australia in recent years.

“In the short term Victoria in the Future 2015 relies on Commonwealth Government forecasts of arrivals and departures to Australia and allocates a share to Victoria based on recent trends,” the report said.

“This results in NOM to Victoria increasing from approximately 60,000 in 2014-15 to 65,000 by 2017-18. VIF2015 assumes NOM remains within this range over the period to 2030, before increasing in line with the population to a level of approximately 76,000 in 2050-51.

“NOM therefore accounts for between 57 and 62 per cent of annual population growth over the projection period,” the report said.

It said population growth would largely be concentrated in Melbourne and the larger cities.

“Population growth and change are not evenly distributed across Victoria. Greater Melbourne attracts the bulk of Victoria’s overseas migrants, and due to its large share of the population (76 per cent in 2014) also accounts for the majority of the natural increase,” the report said.

“These trends are likely to continue and Greater Melbourne is projected to have more than 80 per cent of the state’s growth up to 2051.

“Within Greater Melbourne, the areas with the greatest capacity for dwelling growth are the outer growth areas and the inner city. This is reflected in projected population growth.

“While the middle suburbs are expected to regenerate and increase steadily in population, the designated growth areas (50 per cent) and the five inner LGAs (16 per cent) are expected to account for two thirds of population growth to 2031.

“In Victoria’s regions the largest numbers of projected extra dwellings, and thus largest concentrations of population growth, are in the major regional cities and in areas close to Melbourne.

“Between 2011 and 2031, the three largest LGAs by population (Greater Geelong, Greater Bendigo and Ballarat) are projected to account for 47 per cent of the population growth in Victoria’s regions,” the report said.



Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist