Recent Federal Government data indicates that Melbourne is set to overtake Sydney and become the nation’s most populous city by 2029. Social researcher Mark McCrindle said Melbourne will bounce back after having “lost the glow” with various lockdowns; “Melbourne was not the world’s most liveable city for six years out of a decade for nothing,” he commented to the Herald Sun.
The Centre for Populations’ latest projections shows that while Melbourne is set to become Australia’s largest city, the population growth will take a while to ramp up. Only 0.3% growth is expected for 2022, mainly caused by hampered net overseas migration of 41,000 outgoings.
Michael Sukkar, Federal Minister for Housing, said capital cities around the nation were forecast to return to higher population growth rates than the rest of the states from 2022-2023 as overseas migration returned. “While the outlook remains uncertain due to the unpredictability of Covid, population growth is projected to increase to around 1.4% by 2024-2025 as overseas migration recovers.”
He continued, “Melbourne is projected to be the fastest-growing capital city from 2023-2024 onwards, overtaking Sydney to become the nation’s largest city in 2029-2030 at just over 5.9 million people.”
McCrindle also commented, “While [Melbourne] lost the glow in lockdowns, and the crown of the CBD and the cultural and artistic events primacy, obviously that will come back.” He also said that Melbourne will continue to attract, particularly young families, because of its “lower cost” compared to Sydney.