(Australian Associated Press)
Melbourne has recorded the largest and fastest growth of the major cities in 12 months, ballooning by more than 125,000.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Tuesday show that together, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane accounted for in excess of 70 per cent of Australia’s population growth in 2016-17.
For the first time on record, Sydney grew by more than 100,000 to 5.1 million, while Darwin, Adelaide and Perth only grew each at one per cent or less.
Net overseas migration contributed 80,000 to Melbourne’s growth last year and 84,700 in Sydney.
But unlike Melbourne, the harbour city experienced a net internal migration loss, with 18,100 more people leaving Sydney for other parts of the country than arrived.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the estimates are the first to include data on what is driving population change, such as through internal and overseas migration.
“It is now possible to not only see how much population is changing in an area, but to understand why this change is occurring,” he said.