Victoria’s population has swollen to 6 million people, meaning Melbourne is well on its way to overtaking Sydney to become Australia’s biggest city.
The “education state” grew by 1.9 per cent from March 2015 to 2016, fuelled by a surge in overseas and interstate migration.
While overseas migrants are the biggest contributors to Australia’s growth, demographers say Victoria’s population surge has been helped by a spike in the number of people leaving northern states to find a job further south.
More than 14,000 people decided to ditch their old state and flock to Victoria over the past 12 months, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Melbourne’s population is on the up and up. Photo: Jessica Shapiro
Glenn Capuano, demographer for consulting company .id, said 10 years ago young families and workers were flocking to Queensland in search of jobs and a warmer climate, but these days it’s the opposite.
“We’ve got more people coming in [to Victoria] from other states, which is unusual,” he said.
“The main thing with Queensland is the economy hasn’t been going so well since the end of the mining boom, while NSW and Victoria have both picked up. It’s predominantly an economic factor.”
Kristen Morris, a biomedical engineer from Queensland, is one of the thousands of people who have left the sunshine state for work opportunities in Melbourne.
Ms Morris and her husband moved to Victoria at the start of the year after both receiving job offers.
“We wanted a lifestyle change,” she said.
“The whole reason it was on the table, though, was the jobs. For us, the snow was also a big factor. We’ve done five or six weekends at the snow this season.”
Victoria’s rapid growth isn’t set to slow down any time soon, either, with the ABS predicting Victoria’s population will reach 7 million by 2024.
Mr Capuano said while Melbourne will soon overtake Sydney in terms of population, Victoria still has a long way to go when it comes to catching up to New South Wales as a whole.
This, he said, suggests more needs to be done to ease Melbourne’s urban sprawl.
“You’ve got people in the suburbs complaining about traffic congestion and overcrowded hospitals at the same time you’ve got country towns crying out for greater population,” he said.
“It all comes down to jobs. Where the jobs are, people will go there.”
Overall, Australia’s population grew by 1.4 per cent from March 2015 to 2016 – the equivalent of 327,600 people.
As of 2.05pm on Thursday, Australia’s population, stood at 24,195,823.
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