Sydney Is No Longer Australia's Biggest City

Melbourne overtakes it for first time in a century
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2023 11:30 AM CDT
Australia's Biggest City? The Answer Just Changed
Melbourne now has bragging rights in Australia.   (Getty / robynmac)

Anyone alive today may have absorbed this factoid in school: Australia's most populous city is Sydney. However, for the first time in more than a century, that answer has now changed—Melbourne has claimed the No. 1 spot in the eyes of the government, reports the BBC. For the record, Melbourne clocks in with a population of 4,874,400 in the latest official figures, which is a mere 18,700 more than Sydney. The shift has been inevitable for years, but it happened faster than expected thanks to what the Sydney Morning Herald views as a "technicality."

Government officials redrew the borders of Melbourne to include the rapidly growing district of Melton on its northwestern fringe, and that put Melbourne over the top. While Sydney residents might see that as moving the goalposts, Melbourne was due to overtake Sydney under the traditional boundaries anyway in a matter of years, thanks in large part to an influx of international migrants. Sydney had been No. 1 since overtaking Melbourne amid a gold rush in the early 1900s. Some solace for the new No. 2: Sydney's home state of New South Wales remains the most populous state with 9.1 million people, ahead of Melbourne's Victoria, with 7.8 million, per 9News. (More Australia stories.)

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