Melbourne surpasses Sydney in size, becoming Australia’s biggest city by population.

Surpassing the Australian federal government’s projections, Melbourne has overtaken Sydney by population, becoming the largest city in the country.

In 2022, the government forecasted Melbourne to reach this position between 2031 and 2032, but with the city’s most recent population count coming to about 5.8 million residents, it is already home to approximately 19,000 more citizens than Sydney.

This development is in part due to the recently redrawn borders of Melbourne by the state of Victoria, which now include the district of Melton.

Nick Parr, a Professor of Demography at Macquarie University, explains, “It’s because more people have been moving out of Sydney, going to other parts of Australia, than have been moving in the opposite direction. Whereas in the case of Melbourne, in some years more people have moved to Melbourne than have moved out. But the projections show that Sydney’s population will continue to grow, and also the Melbourne population will continue to grow.”

Melbourne Surpasses Sydney in Size, Becomes Australia's Largest City

Professor Nick also cited immigration as an influence on population growth that “will compensate for the effects of low birth rates in both cities.”

Immigration alongside Australians internally moving to the city may also be a contributor to Melbourne’s rapid growth.

“Melbourne has become a highly attractive place among more recent waves of overseas migration to Australia, particularly among people born in India. Growing community networks pull subsequent new arrivals from India to the Melbourne area,” commented Liz Allen, a Demographer at the Australian National University.

Liz went on to further dispute claims of Melbourne’s largest title, adding that, “The more commonly used, and stable, standard geographic classification of greater capital city shows Sydney is still Australia’s most populous capital. At the current rate of population change, Melbourne will overtake Sydney to take out the top spot in the coming decade,” supporting original government projections.

Melbourne Surpasses Sydney in Size, Becomes Australia's Largest City


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