Greater Melbourne demographics

Demographic Profile

Melbourne is a major and relatively young city with a growing  population of 4.6 million people.1

Melbourne is projected to overtake Sydney as Australia's biggest city by 2030, although due to high international and interstate migration, birth rates and life expectancy, this may occur as early as 2030. The  number of people living in Melbourne increased by over 450,000 in the five years to March 2016, the largest increase of any Australian city.1

Melbourne is currently home to over 1.7 million households, estimated to grow to over 2.4 million households by 2036.1 Melbourne has a relatively young population for a major city within a developed country. The latest census in 2011 revealed Melbourne's population had a median age of 36, with 37 percent of the population aged between 25-49 years.2

Diagram1 : Age of Melbourne Residents2 

Social Profile

Melbourne is a well-educated and multicultural society, living in single family households in houses.2

35 percent of the current labour force is degree qualified or higher and 72 per cent has a post-school qualification (which includes bachelor degree or higher, diploma and certificate).2

Melbourne has a culturally diverse population, where 58 percent of the population have either both or one parent born overseas. Approximately one-third of all households speak two or more languages, with the top languages (outside of English) being Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Cantonese.2

Melbourne is comprised of family households (72 percent), single person households (23 percent)  and group households (5 percent). The average number of people per household is 2.6, the average number of children per family is 1.8, and the average number of persons per bedroom is 1.1.2

Diagram 2 : Level of Education2

Labour force profile

Melbourne's has a good sized workforce that is accessible and skilled.

61 percent of the population is of working age, that is between 20 years and 64 years, and forty percent of those employed hold a managerial or professional position. Other significant roles include clerical and administrative workers (15.3 percent of the workforce) and technicians and trades workers (13.4 percent of the workforce). Fifteen percent of the labour force work in their own or the family business.2

Melbourne's workforce is structurally balanced, with male and female employees comprising 54 percent and 46 percent of workers respectively.  Approximately two-thirds of workers are employed full-time and around one-third work part-time.3

Approximately one-third of all workers are employed in either the healthcare and social assistance, manufacturing or retail sectors.2

Diagram 3: Top Employers by Industry Diagram2

Income Profile

Melbourne is an affluent society where a two income family with children has a median weekly income of  A$2,346. Thirty-two percent of one-person households has a weekly income of between A$300 – A$599 while 30 percent earn over A$1,000 per week.2

Melbourne has relatively high levels of home ownership. Approximately 70 percent of households own their dwelling (with or without a mortgage) while 27 percent of households rent.2

Diagram 4: Weekly Family Income2


  • Sources: 
    1. ABS, Australian Demographics Statistics Catalogue, 3101.0, September 2016, released March 2017
    2. ABS Census, 2011
  • 3. ABS, Australian Demographics Statistics Catalogue, 6202.0, August 2016, released September 2016