3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2012   
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State summary

Population change in Greater Melbourne

Population change in regional Victoria

Centre of population


Victoria's estimated resident population at June 2011 was 5.53 million people. In the ten years to 2011, Victoria had the second largest growth of all states and territories, after Queensland, with a population increase of 729,800. The state grew by 15% over this period, equal to Australia as a whole.

SA2 POPULATION CHANGE, Victoria - 2001-11
Diagram: SA2 POPULATION CHANGE, Victoria—2001–11


At June 2011 there were an estimated 4.17 million people resident in Greater Melbourne, an increase of 647,200 since June 2001. The capital city grew by 18% over the decade, which was faster than the average of Australia's capital cities (17%).

Greater Melbourne accounted for 75% of Victoria's population at June 2011, compared with 73% at June 2001. Population growth in Greater Melbourne equated to 89% of Victoria's total growth between 2001 and 2011.

Growth in the outer suburbs

Growth in the outer suburbs of Greater Melbourne contributed the most to Victoria's population growth in the ten years to June 2011. In most cases, growth in the outer suburbs reflects greenfield development activity. Within Greater Melbourne, the fastest growing SA4s also had the largest growth. Melbourne - West increased by 182,800 (40%) over the ten years to 2011 to reach 638,900. In the same period, Melbourne - South East (up 135,600 people or 25%), Melbourne - North East (62,700 or 16%) and Melbourne - North West (50,500 or 18%) also had strong growth.

Many of the fastest growing SA2s were located within Melbourne - West. Taylors Hill, Cairnlea, Point Cook, Tarneit and Truganina all grew at an average annual rate of 30% or above in the ten years to 2011. Point Cook and Tarneit also had large population growth between 2001 and 2011. Point Cook grew by 31,300, while Tarneit grew by 21,000 people.

South Morang SA2, in Melbourne - North East, had the largest increase in population within Greater Melbourne over the ten years to 2011, growing by 32,200 people, and accounted for more than half of the population growth in Melbourne - North East over the decade.

Rapid population increases were also seen in SA2s in the outer suburbs of Melbourne - South East. Lynbrook - Lyndhurst, Cranbourne East, Pakenham - South, and Berwick South all recorded growth of more than 150% in the ten years ending 2011.

Growth in the inner-city

Inner-city residential development was another driver of population growth within Greater Melbourne. Melbourne - Inner was one of the fastest growing SA4s in the state between June 2001 and June 2011, growing by 23% (or 100,000 people) to reach 534,300. Within Melbourne - Inner, the SA2 of Melbourne had the largest population growth over the decade, increasing by 14,200 people to reach 21,900. Docklands had the fastest growth in the inner-city, growing from 160 people at June 2001 by an average annual rate of 45% to reach 6,200 at June 2011. Other inner-city SA2s with large growth included Southbank (up 7,900 people), Carlton (5,600) and North Melbourne (4,800).


ERP at 30 June
Population Change


South Morang
6 700
38 900
32 200
Point Cook
2 100
33 400
31 300
1 496
Caroline Springs
5 400
26 800
21 400
1 400
22 500
21 000
1 475
Craigieburn - Mickleham
16 600
35 800
19 200


6 200
6 100
3 910
Taylors Hill
15 900
15 300
2 506
9 200
8 800
2 401
Point Cook
2 100
33 400
31 300
1 496
1 400
22 500
21 000
1 475

Urban Infill

Urban infill has also played a role in population change within Greater Melbourne over the ten years to June 2011. There were pockets of marked growth in established suburbs, often related to the redevelopment of previously non-residential zones. Outside of the inner-city, urban infill contributed to large population growth in SA2s including Kingsbury (up 4,800 people or 78%), Maribyrnong (4,700 or 78%) and Clayton (4,600 or 32%).

Population decline

Around 15% of Greater Melbourne's SA2s recorded population declines in the ten years ending June 2011. Population losses ranged up to 1,500 people (Kings Park), with the average population decline being around 500.


At June 2011, the population of regional Victoria was 1.37 million. This represents a 6.4% increase from June 2001. Regional Victoria's share of the state's population decreased from 27% to 25%, reflecting the relatively high growth in Greater Melbourne.

Population growth

Of the eight SA4s in regional Victoria, Geelong had the largest and fastest growth (29,300 people or 13%) between June 2001 and June 2011, bringing its population to 255,700. Bendigo's population grew 9.5% over the ten years to reach 142,400 and Ballarat's grew 8.9% to 148,100. This was faster than the overall growth for regional Victoria (6.4%).

At the SA2 level, the areas within regional Victoria with the largest population increases from 2001 to 2011 were in and around the main regional cities and coastal towns. The three largest increases occurred within the Geelong SA4, where Grovedale grew by 5,400 people, Torquay by 5,000, and Highton by 4,000. Elsewhere, Traralgon in Victoria's east grew by 3,800 people, and Mildura in the north-west grew by 3,700.

The regional SA2s with the fastest growth were within or close to the main regional centres. Bannockburn, near Geelong, grew by 82% in the ten years to 2011, followed by Strathfieldsaye (68%) and Maiden Gully (57%), both in Bendigo, and Torquay (48%), on the coast near Geelong.

Population decline

Within regional Victoria, the only SA4 to decline in population over the ten years to June 2011 was North West, which decreased by 2.5% (3,800 people).

Around 40% of SA2s in regional Victoria declined in population in the ten years to 2011, with around half of these declining by more than 5%. Eight of the ten fastest declining SA2s in Victoria were in the state's north-west. Some of the greatest percentage decreases over the decade were in Gannawarra (16%), West Wimmera (15%) and Yarriambiack (14%), which encompass small regional communities. Some regional SA2s that surround larger regional towns also experienced population decreases, including Mildura Region (21% - the fastest decline in the state), Swan Hill Region (11%), Colac Region (9.4%), and Ararat Region (9.3%).


At June 2011, Victoria's centre of population was in the suburb of Coburg North. In the ten years to 2011, the centre moved 2.0 kilometres south, towards Melbourne's central business district.

Greater Melbourne's centre of population at June 2011 was near the Monash Freeway, in the suburb of Glen Iris.