More people living in Melbourne as Australian population grows

South Wharf, Melbourne, Australia
South Wharf, Melbourne, Australia

More people are living in Melbourne, as Australia’s population continues to grow.

The city was once again ranked the world’s most liveable by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index this year for the sixth time in a row.

Now, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlight how popular Melbourne and its home state of Victoria continues to be.

“Victoria has hosted the fastest growing population in the country since 2014 and the latest figures show the rate of growth increased further to 2.1 per cent in the year to June 2016,” says HIS Economist Geordan Murray. “The state experienced the largest ever net inflow of people from other states on record.”

Victoria has also experienced the largest net inflow from overseas since the GFC caused a spike in inbound migration back in 2009.

“With such strong population growth, it is little wonder that the state is able to keep filling so many new homes,” adds Murray.

“Overall, the net inflow from overseas has remained relatively steady at around 180,000 over the last couple of years. However, a larger share of the net increase from overseas, now 75 per cent, has occurred in NSW and Victoria. The increased share in these two states has largely been at the expense of migration in WA.”

The ABS data shows that Australia’s population increased by 337,800 people in the year ending June 2016, but there are wide divergences between the growth rates in the various states and territories. Overall, Australia’s population increased by 1.4 per cent over the year ending June 2016, reaching 24.1 million.

“Net overseas migration (incoming minus outgoing migrants) contributed 182,165 people to the increase over the year ending June 2016, and the net inflow was around 3 per cent higher compared with a year earlier,” comments Murray.

“There is a naturally tight relationship between economic conditions, demography, and the requirement for residential building,” he continues. “Economic growth creates jobs, employment opportunities attract more people, and people need somewhere to live.”

Indeed, the major eastern seaboard states are doing well in terms of population growth and residential building, while declining rates of population growth in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory are reflected in the challenging industry conditions in these jurisdictions.

“With Victoria having been the strongest residential building market over the last few years and labour force figures showing the state had the largest trend increase in employment in November, Victoria seems to be ticking more of the boxes than any other jurisdiction at the moment,” he concludes.