Melbourne becomes Australia’s fastest growing capital city

by Ray Clancy on April 1, 2016

in Australia, General Information

Melbourne is officially Australia’s fastest growing capital city, with the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showing its population is up by 2.1%.

This figure for 2014/2015 is down slightly from the 2.2% recorded in the previous 12 month period but still higher than the next fastest growing capital Darwin where the population increased by 1.9%.

Perth, which has been one of the fastest growing capital cities since the mid-2000s, grew by 1.6%, down from 1.9% the previous year and now sits equal fourth with Brisbane, behind Sydney where the population grew by 1.7%.


“Although Perth’s growth slowed to its lowest rate since 2004/2005, it was not the only city to experience weaker growth. Of all the capitals, only Hobart at 0.8%, Canberra at 1.4% and Darwin at 1.9% grew faster in 2014/2015 than in the previous year,” said ABS director of demography Beidar Cho.

Overall Australia’s capital cities accounted for the vast majority, 83%, of the nation’s total population growth in 2014/2015, with most growth occurring in outer suburban and inner city areas.

The data report suggests that Sydney is well on target to becoming the first Australian capital city to reach five million people, growing by 83,300 in 2014/2015 to hit 4.92 million.

Cho pointed out that this amounted to an increase of 1,600 people per week. “Should this amount of growth continue in 2015/2016, we would expect Sydney’s population to hit five million sometime this year,” she added.

Brisbane’s population may be increasing at its slowest rate for over a decade, but Queensland has some of the largest growing regional areas in the country. While the population increased by 1.6% in Brisbane, in the rest of Queensland it was up by 1%, the fastest growth rate of all rest of state regions, ahead of rest of New South Wales at 0.8% and Victoria at 0.6%.

Cho explained that compared with the other Australian states Queensland had a notably higher proportion, 40%, of its population growth occurring outside of its capital city. Five of the top 10 largest growing areas in Queensland were outside of Greater Brisbane.

Hobart is the only Australian capital city to record an increasing rate of population growth in each of the past three years, the data also shows. Although growing at the slowest rate of all capital cities at 0.8%, Hobart’s growth rate has been steadily increasing since 2012/2013, and is up from 0.6% in 2013/2014.

“While the majority, 57%, of Tasmanians live outside the state capital, Hobart’s population is growing faster than the rest of the state and the five areas with the fastest growth in 2014/2015 were all located in Hobart,” Cho said.

Overall the fastest growing areas in each state and territory were Cobbitty – Leppington in New South Wales, Cranbourne East in Victoria, Pimpama in Queensland, Munno Para West – Angle Vale in South Australia, North Coogee in Western Australia, Rokeby in Tasmania, Palmerston – South in the Northern Territory, and South West Canberra in Australian Capital Territory.

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