(GCCSAs) ERP AT 30 JUNE POP. CHANGE
GCCSA no. no. %
Sydney 5 131 326 101 558 2.0
Melbourne 4 850 740 125 424 2.7
Brisbane 2 408 223 47 982 2.0
Adelaide 1 333 927 9 648 0.7
Perth 2 043 138 21 094 1.0
Hobart 226 884 2 422 1.1
Darwin 146 612 696 0.5
Canberra (ACT) 410 301 6 833 1.7
Five million Melburnians: City's population hits milestone tomorrow
Clay Lucas & Craig Butt 31 August 2018 — 11:58am
Official data says the 5 million mark will be passed sometime on Saturday. It was only eight years ago that the city topped 4 million, so how did we get so big so quickly?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released updated population estimates for Melbourne on Friday, and if you assume the city's population is continuing to grow at its current rate, then the data suggests the 5 million milestone will be reached on Saturday.
And, according to the Victorian government, it’s not stopping there. Eight million by 2051 is the expectation.
Melbourne at 5 million is a city growing faster than at any time in its history. But how did we get here?
Today, many Melburnians are angry about a sustained lack of planning.
It turns out we’ve been going over the same ground for nine decades: when Melbourne hit its first million in 1929, the concerns sounded much like they do today.
Melbourne's growth has been extraordinary, but at what cost?
Seamus O’Hanlon 1 September 2018 — 11:14pm
Illustration: Matt Davidson (after John Brack)
Melbourne is growing fast. This month we are expected to welcome our five millionth resident, more than 20 years earlier than was forecast by demographers just a few short years ago. On present trends there is a distinct possibility that Melbourne may overtake Sydney as the country's largest city within a decade or so.
Whether this is a good or a bad thing is, of course, debatable. As anyone who battles the daily commute on Melbourne's trains, trams and roads knows, today's city is more crowded and congested than it was even 10 years ago. About 120,000 new residents settle in Melbourne each year, as do tens of thousands of international students. About one million international tourists visit annually. More than 40,000 now live in the CBD, while a generation ago barely anyone did.
Housing all these new people, providing them jobs and moving them around is causing headaches for governments, federal and state. Some of the ructions we saw in Canberra last week were about a backlash against high immigration, high house prices and problems of congestion and overcrowding being experienced by fed-up voters in many parts of our major cities.
The almost daily announcements of major infrastructure projects by the state government is a response to growing voter anger about the increasing dysfunction of a public transport system that was designed for a city of three or four million, not five, six or seven. The train system is especially problematic, designed to get office workers to the city centre for a 9am start and then home to the suburbs again at 5pm, much like John Brack's grim Melburnians did in the mid-1950s.
Melbourne at 5 million and the migrants who helped shape the city
Tom Cowie & Sarah Emery 2 September 2018 — 12:05am
Melbourne is a city of migrants. As the population reached 5 million on Saturday, the proportion of those living here who were born overseas was not far off 2 million.
And then there's the children of immigrants. More than a million Melburnians who were born in Australia say one or both of their parents were born overseas. That's over half of the city who are either first or second-generation immigrants.
When Melbourne hit each of its milestones — one million in 1929, two million in 1963, three million in 1988, four million in 2010 and five million this year — different waves of migrants were changing the face of the city. The Age spoke to some of them.
Soccorso Santoro arrived in Melbourne from Italy in 1930
In 1929, when Melbourne’s population reached one million, the White Australia policy was still in place and the vast majority of overseas arrivals were born in England, Scotland or Ireland.
But another group of immigrants had begun to arrive from Italy, marking the city’s first steps towards multiculturalism.
The number of Italian-born people living in Victoria tripled between 1921 and 1933. Outside those born in the British Isles, they were the largest immigrant community.
Soccorso Santoro was part of that wave when he traveled to Melbourne in June, 1930 aboard the Orient Line’s Orama. The 28-year-old settled in Carlton before establishing a doctor’s practice in Collins Street that served Italian-Australians.
His son, George Santoro, was born five years later and followed in his father's footsteps, working as a general practice doctor for more than 40 years.
"He never spoke to me in English, which was very helpful because I got an honour in Italian in HSC and I needed all the help I could get," the 84-year-old laughs.
The language barrier often caused problems for the early Italians living in Melbourne and George remembers that Australians were often hostile to the new arrivals.
"We were all dagoes, you know. We had to expect to be dagoes," he says.