Population Matters

Victoria’s population was 6.5 million at 30 June 2018. It is the second largest state in Australia by population, but has been growing by more than any other state or territory at up to 150,000 per annum (and at the highest rate of up to 2.5 per cent per annum). Victoria has grown by a million people since 2011 and is expected to add another million by 2026.

Population Characteristics

Understanding the composition, or characteristics, of the population is just as important as the size or the growth rate. Places with the same population size may require different services and infrastructure depending on the mix of ages and household types.

As the number of households increases so must the number of dwellings required to house them. From 2016 to 2056 Victoria will require an additional 2.3 million dwellings to house the extra population: almost 1.9 million in Greater Melbourne and over 400,000 in Victoria’s regions.

The median age in Victoria is 36 – young by standards in the developed world. Almost two thirds of Victoria’s population is within the key working ages of 18 to 64 years, while fewer than one of every six Victorians is aged 65 years or over.

By 2056 the population will have aged significantly by proportions, particularly as the large ‘baby boomer’ cohort moves into the oldest age group. By 2056 the median age is projected to increase to 41.

The numbers of “couple only” and “one person” households are expected to double. Older Victorians are more likely to live in a one- or two-person household than a larger household so, as the population ages, both the number and the proportion of these households increase. The average size of a household therefore decreases: from 2.54 persons per household in Victoria in 2016 to 2.40 in 2056.

The proportion of families with children decreases over time, but the number increases by 82 per cent or almost 850,000. With an additional 560,000 people expected at school ages (5 to 17) by 2056, the family home will still be in demand as will community spaces, transport infrastructure, urban renewal projects and sustainable building designs.

Where are the growth areas?

With a growing populations… where are they going to live ?

Population growth is not evenly distributed across Victoria. Patterns of urban and regional population change reflect the likelihood of individual places to attract population growth and their capacity to absorb extra population.

Greater Melbourne is projected to grow by approximately 4.0 million people, increasing from 5.0 million in 2018 to 9.0 million in 2056. Over the same period Victoria’s regions are expected to grow by just over 700,000 from 1.5 million to 2.2 million.

Within Victoria’s regions the strongest growth (approximately half of all regional growth) is expected in the three major Regional Centre LGAs – The Cities of Greater Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

Greater Geelong in particular is projected to grow by over 100,000 people by 2036. A number of peri-urban LGAs – such as Surf Coast, Moorabool and Baw Baw Shires – are projected to grow by rates as fast or faster than Greater Geelong.

The largest amounts of growth for Melbourne from 2018 to 2036 are expected in the Cities of Wyndham (adding 204,000 people) and Casey (182,000). The fastest rates of growth are expected in the City of Melton (4.3 per cent) and in Mitchell Shire (4.5 per cent – mostly within the metropolitan Urban Growth Boundary).

Within the City of Melbourne the dwelling additions will be mostly high-rise apartments concentrated in the Central Business District of Docklands and Southbank.

Why Is Australia's Population Increasing?

The expected boost in the population can be attributed to two main factors: natural growth and net overseas migration (NOM).

Natural growth refers to births minus deaths within Australia. Over the years, the influence of natural growth on the overall increase in population has weakened. This is due to the continual aging of Australia’s population, the decrease in birth rates and the expected extension of life expectancy.

Net overseas migration is the increase or decrease in population due to the immigration into and emigration out of Australia. Net overseas migration is based on an ‘international traveller’s duration of stay being in or out of Australia for 12 months or more over the 16 month period’.

The contribution of net overseas migration to the overall population increase has overtaken natural growth and is expected to continue to play a significant role in the

future. Australia is fast becoming a hot spot for overseas investors, international students, skilled migrants, longterm temporary visa holders, permanent migrants, and so on. Droves of people are rushing to our bountiful shores.

Source: Victoria in the Future.

Population Projections 2016 to 2056, published July 2019