5 million people now live in Sydney, but Melbourne is catching up fast

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Sydney now has a population of more than 5 million, according to regional population growth figures released by the ABS on Thursday.

The ABS said that 5,005,400 people lived in the New South Wales capital at the end of June 2016, an increase of 82,800 from the previous year.

That means that 23.7% of Australia’s total population now live in the Harbour City.

“It took Sydney almost 30 years, from 1971 to 2000, to grow from 3 million to 4 million people, but only half that time to reach its next million,” said, Beidar Cho, director of demography at the ABS.

While Sydney retained top spot as the most populous city in the country, the gap to its southern rival, Melbourne, continued to decrease.

The ABS said that Melbourne’s population increased by 107,800 to 4,641,600 in the year to June last year, equating to percentage gain of 2.4%, the fastest of all Australia’s capitals.

Of the other capitals, the population of Brisbane increased by 1.8%, by 0.8% in Hobart and by 1.7% in Canberra. Moving further west, Darwin’s population grew by 0.8% while Adelaide’s rose by a smaller 0.7%.

Perth, despite the mining downturn, saw its population grow by 1.3%, although it fell in other parts of the state.

This table from the ABS breaks down all the figures by state and territory.

And, breaking that data down further, here are the regions that recorded the largest population growth both in population and percentage terms in the year to June 30, 2016.

Source: ABS

This map from the ABS also shows the change in estimated resident population across the country.

Source: ABS

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