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Melbourne surpasses Sydney as Australia’s largest city for the first time in over a century - featured image
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Melbourne surpasses Sydney as Australia’s largest city for the first time in over a century

key takeaways

Key takeaways

Melbourne has overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city for the first time since the 19th Century gold rush, following a boundary change.

Melbourne has overtaken Sydney as Australia's most populous city for the first time since the 19th Century gold rush, following a boundary change.

Sydney has proudly held the title of Australia's largest city for more than 100 years.

But with populations rapidly growing on Melbourne's fringe, the city limits have been expanded to include the area of Melton which added almost 19,000 more people to its population than Sydney.

The adjustment was made using the ABS Significant Urban Area classification.

It's not the first time Melbourne has held the title of Australia's biggest city.

As a result of the gold rush in the late 19th Century, which saw migrants flock to the state of Victoria, Melbourne grew rapidly and outnumbered Sydney until 1905.

Previously the Australian Bureau of Statistics had forecast that Sydney would not lose the title of the largest city within a decade, but the unexpected inclusion of Melton in Melbourne's catchment area changed the outcome.

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Melbourne's urban area now has a population of 4,875,390.

It was previously predicted that Melbourne to overtake Sydney in population by 2031, but the lockdowns during the pandemic resulted in a 1.6% decline in population growth, pushing the anticipated date to 2032-2033.

Melbourne is now expected to have a population of 6.1 million people by 2032-2033, while Sydney's population will be just shy of Melbourne's forecasted growth, with 6.06 million people.

However, NSW will remain the most populous state with 9.1 million people by 2032-33, compared to Victoria's 7.8 million.

About Brett Warren is National Director of Metropole Properties and uses his two decades of property investment experience to advise clients how to grow, protect and pass on their wealth through strategic property advice.
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