Melbourne projected to overtake Sydney as Australia's largest capital city

Population estimates released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal that if current growth trends prevail, Melbourne is projected to overtake Sydney as Australia's largest capital city by 2053. 

Between 1973 and 2013, Sydney and Melbourne each grew by almost 1.7 million people. But the overall growth rate for Melbourne was higher at 62 per cent compared with 54 per cent for Sydney. And if trends prevail this will mean that Melbourne surpass Sydney in 2053 as the most populous Australian city.

According to the ABS, by 2053 more than 28 million people will be living in Australia's cities.

"In 2013, two in three Australians lived in a capital city, a slight increase since 1973 when 65 percent lived in capital," said Denise Carlton, ABS Director of Demography. "By 2053, this share is projected to increase to 72 percent. That equates to 28 million people living in the capitals."

In the last 40 years, 89 per cent of growth in capitals occurred in the four largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth). Of the capital cities, Darwin had the highest growth rate at 191 per cent, by contrast Hobart grew by 36 per cent.

"Currently Perth and Darwin are the fastest-growing capital cities. Between 2012 and 2013, Perth grew the fastest (3.5 per cent), followed by Darwin (3 per cent), Melbourne (2.2 per cent) and Brisbane (2.1 per cent)," said Ms Carlton.

Housing affordability remains an issue for many Australians, particularly in cities like Sydney and Melbourne where property prices have skyrocketed. There have been calls by a number of industry associations such as the MFAA, the HIA as well as home loan providers like Aussie, at the Senate Inquiry into Housing Affordability for the Government to do more to help first home buyers secure property.

With interest rates at record lows and competition high between banks, borrowers with the means to buy property or refinance their existing property can get a good deal on their home loan. Variable rates start at 4.49% p.a. and 1 year fixed rates are as low as 3.99%. To compare home loan interest rates, see Mozo's home loan comparison tables.