VICTORIA'S population has hit 6 million, according to figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with a growth rate of 1.9 per cent or an additional 114,900 people in the year ending 31 March 2016.
ABS Acting Director of Demography Phil Browning said the growth rate is the fastest population growth for Victoria since 2009 and well above Australia's growth rate of 1.4 per cent. The Victorian population is projected to reach 7 million in 2024.
New South Wales was the next fastest state, increasing by 1.4 per cent. Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory were not far behind, with both growing at 1.3 per cent.
Net overseas migration was the main contributor to growth in Victoria, adding 62,800 people to the population over the year ending March 2016. The remainder of Victoria's population change was explained by natural increase (+37,600) and net interstate migration (+14,500).
"The last time Victoria was growing this fast, back in 2009, the breakdown of Victoria's growth was different, with net overseas migration at 84,200, natural increase 34,600 and a net interstate migration inflow of just 500 people," Mr Browning said.
Overall, Australia's population grew by 327,600 people (1.4 per cent) to reach 24.0 million by the end of March 2016.
Net overseas migration added 180,800 people to the population (2 per cent higher than the previous year), and accounted for 55 per cent of Australia's total population growth.
Natural increase contributed 146,800 additional people to Australia's population, made up of 304,300 births (1.6 per cent lower than the previous year) and 157,500 deaths (1.7 per cent higher).
Over the year, net overseas migration was the major contributor to population change in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, whilst natural increase was the major contributor in all other states and territories.
Photo: 'Australia seen from space at night' / Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA/GSFC / Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.