Melbourne to overtake Sydney within a decade

10-years of population increase


Figures released by the ABS today showed that Australia’s population increased by 18 per cent or 3.8 million over the decade to 30 June 2016.

That’s a hefty increase, and a rate at which the delivery of infrastructure will struggle to keep pace.

Victoria experienced by some margin the largest growth in terms of absolute numbers at 1.1 million persons, followed by New South Wales (+996,600), and then Queensland (+840,900).

Capitals suck in population

77 per cent of the total population growth was experienced in capital cities over the past decade.

However, the trend towards the capitals is accelerating, with some 84 per cent of population growth in FY2016 taking place in those cities.

The trend was particularly stark in 2016, driven forward by the most populous capitals of Sydney and especially Melbourne.

Residential Population

Melbourne to overtake Sydney 

The population of Sydney grew by +773,607 to 5,029,768 over the ten year period, for an increase of 18.2 per cent (compared to 9 per cent growth for regional New South Wales).

Melbourne’s population increased by an even stronger +964,556 to 4,725,316, representing a 25.6 per cent increase.

Over the same time period the population of regional Victoria increased by a comparatively sedate 153,427.

Greater Melbourne’s population growth was incredibly strong in FY2016, at a gold-rush-like +126,175.

If current trends were to persist the city population could exceed that of Sydney within a decade.

A lot can change in ten years, of course, but if anything more people seem set to leave Sydney for south-east Queensland over the years ahead, which could prove to be the decisive factor.


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Pete Wargent


Pete is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. Using a long term approach to building businesses, investing in equities, & owning a portfolio he achieved financial independence at the age of 33. Visit his blog

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