Oz Blog News Commentary

Victoria fills up as the rest of the nation moves in

March 24, 2017 - 11:24 -- Admin

In the past 12 months, 82,800 Australians have moved to Victoria from interstate, around 500 carloads a week.

At the same time, 65,600 Victorians have left.

The gap - a net influx of 17,200 - is an all-time record. Victoria's population is being swelled by more migrants from interstate than ever before, and by far more than any other state, even Queensland, which used to be the go-to state for the rest of nation.

Perhaps as a result, or perhaps as a driver, employment in Victoria has surged by 97,300 in the past year, accounting for almost all of the nationwide employment growth of 104,600.

In contrast, the once-booming jobs market in NSW produced only 2000 extra workers.

New population figures show that a jump in interstate migration, in overseas migration and in births lifted Victoria's population by 157,500 to 6.1 million in the year to September - an increase of 2.1 per cent, compared to 1.2 per cent in the rest of the nation.

Victoria now accounts for 25.2 per cent of Australia's population, the most since the share slid during the early 1990s recession.

Net foreign migration to Victoria reached a record 68,600 in the year to September. The natural increase (births minus deaths) reached 41,700, also a record high.

Domestic migrants to Victoria came predominantly from NSW (29,500), Queensland (15,200) Western Australia (11,500) and South Australia (9700).

The main destinations for Victorians moving interstate were NSW (22,900), Queensland (20,800) and Western Australia (7100).

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Bureau of Statistics projections released with the population figures show Melbourne overtaking Sydney as Australia's biggest city in 2056.

The central projection puts Melbourne's population at 8.2 million, almost double the present 4.6 million, and Sydney's at 8.1 million, up from 5 million.

The slower growth in Sydney reflects congestion and geographical constraints of the sea and a mountain range.

By 2056, Victoria is projected to have a total population of 9.9 million and NSW 11.1 million.

A faster growth scenario has Melbourne well above Sydney at 9.2 million to 8.4 million, and a slower growth scenario has Sydney slightly ahead of Melbourne at 7.7 million to 7.4 million.

Australia's population is projected to be somewhere between 35 million and 45 million. The central projection is 39.7 million, up from the present 24.3 million.

In The Age and Sydney Morning Herald Peter Martin is economics correspondent for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He blogs at and tweets at @1petermartin.