Melbourne by numbers: Five ways the city’s population is increasing
Melbourne’s population is surging. Here are five interesting facts about the city’s population growth, gathered from the most recent population projections.
1) Almost two-thirds of the population growth in the past year has been from overseas migration
Almost 87,000 people moved to Victoria from overseas last year, and most of this migration was to the Greater Melbourne region.
All up, almost two-thirds of the state’s recent population growth has been from overseas migration, far more than the 40,000 new babies born and the 17,000 people who moved here from interstate.
2) Overseas migrants are moving to the city
The most popular Melbourne destination for new arrivals in the past year is … Melbourne. Melbourne’s CBD, that is.
Other hotspots for recent overseas migrants include Clayton, Carlton and North Melbourne. These are all locations close to educational institutions, so it makes sense that many of these migrants would be international students wanting to be close to where they study.
Interestingly, Australia is the most common country of birth in all but two of the suburbs that make up Greater Melbourne. Those are the CBD and Clayton – where more people were born in China.
Australia is the most common country of birth in all but two Melbourne suburbs.Photo: Craig Butt
3) Australians are flocking to Cranbourne East
Almost 6300 people moved to Cranbourne East from elsewhere in Australia last year, making up about 85 per cent of the area’s population growth. In fact it received the most internal migration of anywhere in Australia over the past year, by far.
In terms of raw numbers, Cranbourne East grew the most of any area in Australia over the past year. And in proportional terms it has added almost 28 per cent more people in the past 12 months alone.
It’s practically added the population equivalent of Orbost (6475 people) since 2016. It has also added more people in a year than its entire population back in 2006 (4288 people).
Just look at how much the movement to that suburb dwarfs that to its nearest competitors (in terms of numbers, that is) – Mernda (1792) and Melton South (1653):
And it’s not just the numbers that show the change. On the left is what the area looked like in 2010. On the right is what it looks like now. Use the arrows to compare the two aerial photos.
OK, I see you get the point – Cranbourne East is growing.
But where are people moving to Cranbourne East from?
We can’t tell for sure with this new data, but perhaps they are moving away from places like Dandenong. Almost 800 people moved from here to another suburb somewhere else in Australia last year.
The latest census sheds some light on these intra-Melbourne movements. If you look at this map of where people moved to Cranbourne East from over the past five years, you can see that Dandenong shows up quite clearly.
That may be because Dandenong is a popular destination for overseas migrants when they first move to Australia, but once they can afford to buy a house they choose to shift to the Cranbourne/Pakenham area.
But it is not just overseas migrants who are moving to Cranbourne East. It is the area that the most locals in their 30s have moved to in the past five years, given houses are larger and much more affordable out here than those found closer to the city. ReplayUnmute 1:28/1:28Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Fullscreen
The life cycle of a Melburnian
Now we know even more about the migration patterns of the average Melburnian.
4) Projected population growth has been accelerating
It’s estimated that Melbourne’s population grew by about 120,000 people last year, or by about 2.6 per cent.
To put that in perspective, that’s about the combined population of the state’s three largest suburbs, Melbourne’s CBD, Tarneit and Cranbourne East.
As it stands, there are about 4,677,157 people living in Greater Melbourne right now, about one million more than there were 10 years ago.
And that rate of growth is accelerating. It might be hard to tell from the graph above but take a look what happens if we look at the proportional year-on-year population increase in Melbourne over the past few years:
Last year’s estimated population growth of 2.6 per cent is slightly higher than that of four of the five years that preceded it. And there was a clear slowdown in population growth in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis.
5) Lots of babies are being born in Melbourne’s west, but deaths outnumber births in some suburbs.
In all of the suburbs below, at least one baby was born each day on average last year.
In Tarneit there were almost 17 babies born every week, while in neighbouring Truganina more about 14 children were born each week. Hopefully there will be enough school places to go around in a few years time.
But there are 18 suburbs in Greater Melbourne where deaths outnumbered births last year, compared with 272 where there was a natural increase in population.
There were 142 more deaths than births in Rosebud West, on the Mornington Peninsula. That may be because this is one of the oldest areas of the city, with a median age of almost 60.
It’s also an area where there are considerably more women than men, because of all the widows who have outlived their husbands. ReplayUnmute 0:46/0:46Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Fullscreen
Rosebud: the suburb of widows
Census data shows more than one in 10 adults in the seaside town are widows.
6) People are moving to Victoria from within Australia
Our licence plates are correct – Victoria really is the place to be. More than 17,000 people moved here from somewhere else in Australia over the past year.
We don’t know where exactly all these people moved from, but the data strongly hints that they may have moved here in larger numbers from New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
These are states and territories where there has been a net exodus of locals over the past year, with almost 15,000 people deciding it’s high time to move away from New South Wales.
But if the population keeps increasing at the current rate, will this be ‘the place to be’ for much longer?