Population changes in our capital cities

Population growth in 2018–19

Each population component’s contribution to overall population growth is presented as a percentage, so that the contribution of natural increase (NI), net overseas migration (NOM) and net internal migration (NIM) sum to the overall population growth rate for each city.

Sydney

Population: 5.3m

Sydney is Australia’s largest city and accounted for nearly 80 per cent of New South Wales total population growth over the year.

  • Population growth: 1.7% (87,065)
  • Natural Increase: 0.7% (38,701)
  • NOM: 1.4% (73,919)
  • NIM: -0.5% (-25,555)
NSW graphic

Melbourne

Population: 5.1m

Melbourne was Australia’s fastest growing city and is projected to become the largest city within the next 20 years.

  • Population growth: 2.3% (113,480)
  • Natural Increase: 0.7% (33,859)
  • NOM: 1.6% (77,369)
  • NIM: 0.0% (2,252)
Vic graphic

Brisbane

Population: 2.5m

Brisbane’s population growth from internal migration was the largest of all Australian cities.

  • Population growth: 2.1% (52,587)
  • Natural Increase: 0.7% (17,884)
  • NOM: 0.8% (18,789)
  • NIM: 0.6% (15,914)
Qld graphic

Perth

Population: 2.1m

Perth’s population growth has slowed in recent years following a period of high population growth during the mining boom.

  • Population growth: 1.3% (27,405)
  • Natural Increase: 0.7% (14,837)
  • NOM: 0.7% (13,970)
  • NIM: -0.1% (-1,402)
WA graphic

Adelaide

Population: 1.4m

Adelaide’s growth was boosted by overseas migrants, with natural increase nearly fully offset by movement to other parts of Australia.

  • Population growth: 1.0% (13,900)
  • Natural Increase: 0.4% (4,914)
  • NOM: 1.0% (12,900)
  • NIM: -0.3% (-3,914)
SA graphic

Canberra

Population: 427k

Canberra was Australia’s largest and fastest growing inland city.

  • Population growth: 1.5% (6,325)
  • Natural Increase: 0.8% (3,409)
  • NOM: 0.7% (3,110)
  • NIM: 0.0% (-194)
ACT graphic

Hobart

Population: 236k

Hobart’s population growth has increased in recent years with more people coming to the city from other parts of Australia and overseas.

  • Population growth: 1.5% (3,445)
  • Natural Increase: 0.3% (733)
  • NOM: 0.7% (1,726)
  • NIM: 0.4% (986)

Darwin

Population: 147k

Darwin was the only city to record negative population growth in 2018-19, due to the large number of residents moving to other parts of Australia.

  • Population growth: -0.8% (-1,141)
  • Natural Increase: 1.0% (1,530)
  • NOM: 0.4% (542)
  • NIM: -2.2% (-3,213)
NT graphic

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Regional Population, 2018-19.