Step aside Sydney: Melbourne is now Australia’s biggest city

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Step aside Sydney: Melbourne is now Australia’s biggest city


A redefining of city borders has helped us secure the top spot.

Melbourne might have just scored a few more points up on the board in the longstanding competition against Sydney.

A subtle change in zoning has made it so Melbourne is technically now the biggest city in Australia.

Melbourne population overtakes Sydney

  • Melbourne has been pronounced as the biggest city in Australia after rezoning includes Melton in parameters
  • Sydney has been the country’s biggest city for over a century
  • Aside from the redrawing of borders, the population of Melbourne is also growing faster than Sydney

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has made an update so the district of Melton, to the northwest of Melbourne, is now included in the city’s Significant Urban Area. The change reflects rapidly growing populations in the area – the population of the City of Melton grew 4.61 per cent between 2020 and 2021.

This bumps the population up by roughly 181,223, bringing our population up to 4,875,400 in June 2021, while Sydney hangs out at a cool 4,856,700. Thanks Melton!

Our New South Wales neighbour has held the top spot in the country for over 100 years, so it’s likely they won’t be too happy about losing the title. However they still have one up on us: the size of Greater Sydney is still larger than Greater Melbourne – although this too is predicted to change in the coming years as Melbourne’s population is growing more rapidly.

While COVID-19 disruptions saw many moving out of large city centres, Melbourne’s population has continued to grow as it has become the most popular destination for local and international migrants who seek job opportunities and more affordable housing, as reported by the Guardian.

To take a look at the Australian Bureau of Statistics population data, head here