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Melbourne’s population growth has plummeted and it’s ‘having an impact’

Ross and Russel
Article image for Melbourne’s population growth has plummeted and it’s ‘having an impact’

Melbourne’s population will barely grow this financial year, according to new research.

A study by .Id, a demographics consultant, reveals Melbourne will grow by about 12,000 people in 2020-21.

That compares to growth of 114,000 two years earlier.

Demographer and managing director of the Demographics Group, Bernard Salt, says it’s “quite a drop”.

“The original forecast produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics had Melbourne at another half a million or so,” he told Ross and Russel.

“It would be having an impact on housing on the edge of Melbourne, that’s the bottom line.”

Mr Salt says optimum growth for Melbourne is about 70,000 to 80,000 people per year, but pre-pandemic growth was far outstripping that, and the city was struggling to cope.

“In my view it should be up around 70,000 or 80,000 and I think we can cope with that. It drives demand for housing, for infrastructure, for retails sales it creates opportunity if it’s well managed,” he said.

“If Melbourne is to overtake Sydney then it would be mid to late 2030s, and that assumes that things get back to the way things were, and I’m not convinced that’s what Melburnians or Australians want.”

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