Almost 10 million migrants over the next 50 years will swell Australia’s population to more than 40 million by 2060 and more than 50 million by 2100, under dramatically higher new projections by the Bureau of Statistics. The projections, the first for five years, envisage tens of millions more people crowding into Australia’s capital cities over the next 50 years, overwhelmingly due to migration.
By 2060, the bureau estimates, Melbourne will have 8.5 million people, twice as many as now. Even by 2050, it would have 1.2 million more people than the state government assumed in its core planning strategy, Plan Melbourne, released last month.
By then Sydney would have 8.4 million, an increase of 80 per cent from now. Perth would more than double to 5.5 million people, and Brisbane to 4.8 million. Both cities would be bigger than Sydney is now. Melbourne would overtake Sydney in 2053. These four cities, the migrant magnets of Australia, would add 14 million of the 18.4 million extra people envisaged by 2060.
The rest of Queensland would add 2 million, the ACT would double to almost 750,000, but in much of the rest of Australia – South Australia, Tasmania, and regional NSW and Victoria – population growth will either reverse or slow to minimal levels by 2050.
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