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Melbourne has become Australia’s biggest-growing city and is set to overtake Sydney as the country’s biggest city in 2056, according to the latest Bureau of Statistics projections.
And Victoria has overtaken Western Australia to become Australia’s fastest-growing state.
New figures from the bureau show Victoria gained an extra 101,500 residents in the year to December, and Melbourne an extra 95,600. At 1.8 per cent, Victoria’s growth rate surpassed Western Australia’s 1.6 per cent and the 1.4 per cent recorded in NSW and Queensland, which was the Australian average. South Australia grew 0.9 per cent, Tasmania 0.3 per cent, the Northern Territory 0.4 per cent and the Australian Capital Territory 1.1 per cent.
Melbourne’s gain allowed it to further narrow the population gap with Sydney, whose population climbed 84,200. Bureau of Statistics projections have Melbourne overtaking Sydney to become Australia’s biggest city in 2056. In December greater Melbourne housed 4.4 million residents and the bureau says this population will almost double to 8.2 million by 2056.
The figures show Victoria pulling in far more migrants from the rest of Australia than any other state. In the year to December Victoria gained a net 9340 new arrivals from interstate. Queensland gained a net 5600 and every other state lost population to interstate migration. NSW suffered net emigration of 5570.
South Australians were particularly keen to move to Victoria, with a net 2100 crossing the border in the year to December, almost as many as the 2750 who came from NSW. A net 1400 came from Western Australia.
Job vacancy figures released at the same time paint Victoria’s jobs market as one of the best in the nation, with 4.8 unemployed people searching for each vacant job, a result only bettered by NSW which has 4.4 unemployed per vacancy. The odds of finding a job are far worse in Western Australia (5.2 unemployed per vacancy), Queensland (5.6), South Australia (7.5), and Tasmania (8.5).
Nationally job vacancies are growing in real estate (up 28 per cent in the past year), finance (up 11 per cent) and retail trade (up 6 per cent). Vacancies are falling in mining (down 29 per cent), manufacturing (down 8 per cent) and construction (down 5 per cent).
The national population growth rate of 1.4 per cent is the slowest since 2011. Australia had fewer births than at any time since 2006. Around 289,000 Australians left Australia to live overseas in 2014, the biggest number on record.