Changing Melbourne: Population Growth

Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that 4.35 million people lived in Greater Melbourne in 2013. Melbourne's population is projected to increase continuously to between 7.6 and 9.8 million in 2061, becoming the nation's largest city. Rapid population growth creates a great challenge for urban planners and policy makers dealing with demand and supply pressures on energy, water, transport, land, and the environment.

In this project, we present a series of interactive visualizations showing how demographics of Melbourne have changed over time using Census data. This project is inspired by the "Washington DC: Our Changing City" developed by the Urban Institute.

The first series focus on population growth. Two main components of population growth in Australia is natural increase and net overseas migration. Natural increase is the number of deaths subtracted from the number of births. Net overseas migration (NOM) is the difference between permanent and long-term arrivals, and permanent and long-term departures. The motion bubble chart on the right shows how these two major components have changed and contributed to population growth in different Australian states over years.

This project is funded by the Faculty of Engineering Seed Funding and the Immersive Analytics Project at Monash University.

Data Source: 3101.0 Australian Demographic Statistics (September 2013)
Code for Motion Bubble Chart: Mike Bostock's recreation of Gapminder's Wealth & Health of Nations in D3

Xianghui Hong, Weiyi Li, and Meead Saberi

Changing Melbourne: Population Growth

Brisbane has been the fastest growing city in Australia in the past two decades. However in 2013, Melbourne surpassed Brisbane with a growth rate of 2.2% becoming Australia's fastest growing city. Brisbane and Sydney had growth rates of 2% and 1.7%, respectively in the same year.

The sharp decline in population growth rate between 2009 and 2011 in all three major capital cities is mostly due to the Australian Government's reforms on migration programs, students visas, the Global Financial Crisis, and decrease in natural increase of population.

Next, you will see an interactive "Population Dot Map" showing how population of Melbourne has changed between 2006 and 2011. Each dot on the map is a person counted in the Census. In 2011, there were an estimated 4.2 million people resident in Greater Melbourne, an increase of more than 400,000 in only five years. Pakenham, Point Cook, South Morang, Melbourne city, Berwick, Doreen, and Epping are among the areas with largest population growth.

Data Source: ABS Census 2011 and 2006