Melbourne has surpassed Sydney as the most populous city in Australiafor the first time since the gold rush of the 19th century.
Sydney had proudly retained the title of the largest city in the oceanic country for more than 100 yearsbut a change in the geographical boundaries of Melbourne has propelled it to the top of the ranking.
He rapid population growth of Melbourne suburbs forced to modify the limits of the city, located in the southeast of Australia, to include Melton, a satellite population 35 kilometers away.
The latest government figures, for June 2021, put Melbourne’s population at 4,875,400; that is to say 18,700 more than you have sydney.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) considers the “significant urban area” of a city to include all suburbs with more than 10,000 people.
“With the inclusion of Melton, Melbourne has more people than sydneyand has had it since 2018,” statistician Andrew Howe, who works at ABS, told the newspaper Sydney Morning Herald.
The expert called the decision a “technicality.”
The inhabitants of Sydney, for their part, insist that this city continues to be the largest, when comparing the figures on the respective metropolitan areas of both cities available for June 2021.
for ABS the zones metropolitan areas of a city encompass its “functional area” and the populations that frequent or work within shebut they can live in the small towns and rural areas that surround it.
However, the Australian government predicts that the Melbourne Metropolitan Area, also known as Greater Melbourne, will overtake Sydney sometime between 2031 and 2032.
thanks to foreigners
Melbourne’s rapid growth is largely due to immigration, Australian National University demographer Liz Allen told the BBC.
Allen noted that unlike Sydney, which has a “historical hangover” from a time when it “didn’t want to be seen as anything other than white,” Melbourne has a reputation for celebrating diversity.
The city is an attractive destination for foreigners looking to settle in Australia, offering employment and education opportunities comparable to Sydney, but has historically been more affordable than the port city.
It is not the first time that Melbourne has held the title of largest city in the country.
At the end of the 19th century, when a gold rush broke out in the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, the city received a massive wave of immigrants and this led it to grow rapidly and surpass -populationally speaking- Sydney until 1905.
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