THE Victorian Government last week announced the release of the latest Victoria in Future paper, which shows upward trends in birth rates, life expectancy and migration for Victoria.
The annual paper, which is published by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, confirms Victoria remains the fastest-growing state in the country with population expected to reach 10.1 million by 2051.
Life expectancy is projected to continue to increase – Victorians are living longer, and projections show babies born in 2015 will live to 80-88 for males and 84 to 90 years for females.
Trends in living arrangements show there will be 4.1 million households in Victoria by 2051, meaning an additional 2.2 million dwellings will be required to house the population.
While the majority of change will be in metropolitan Melbourne, strong growth is also expected in major regional centres.
Greater Geelong, Ballarat and Greater Bendigo between them are expected to account for half of Victoria's regional growth to 2031.
Other trends include the life expectancy gap between men and women closing, a rise in the number of people aged over 65 and a significant increase in the number of school-aged children.
A 40-year decline in fertility rates has also levelled out and more children are expected to be born in 2051 than in 2000.
In recognition of the challenges and opportunities this change will present for Victoria, the State Government said it has overhauled Plan Melbourne to manage growth and change over the next 30-40 years.
"We are planning for a bigger, better and even more liveable Victoria by investing in infrastructure, creating jobs, and encouraging more housing close to services, transport, education and employment," said Acting Minister for Planning Jill Hennessy.
"We're setting a benchmark for smart growth and are planning for Victoria to remain the most desirable state to live and work in."
Victoria in Future 2016 is available from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website at <http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/victoria-in-future>.