Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, and Australia’s second-largest city. Focused around a central city, Greater Melbourne’s area of approximately 9900 km² of suburbs spread more than 40 km to the south, 30 km to the east, 20km to the north and sprawl across vast, flat basalt plains to the west. The municipality of Melbourne includes metropolitan Melbourne’s inner suburbs, including the central city. Our municipality is around 37 km² and shares its borders with seven other councils. The municipality of Melbourne is the gateway to Victoria, the seat of the Victorian Government and the headquarters of many local, national and international companies, peak bodies, and government and non-government agencies.
The city is known for its many laneways, its cultural diversity, excellent dining options for all budgets, and amazing street art. It's also known for being the coffee capital of the world, and for being regularly voted as the world's most livable city.
Data and facts
- The City of Melbourne municipality covers 37.7 km2 and has a residential population of almost 170,000 (as of 2018).
- The entire Greater Melbourne area covers 9992.5 km2 and has a population of around 4.96 million.
- It is made up of the city center and several inner suburbs, each with its own distinctive character and with different businesses, dwellings and communities living and working there.
- The official language is English, but more than 100 languages are spoken by the city's residents.
- As a general rule, Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with warm to hot summers, mild and sometimes balmy springs and autumns, and cool winters.
- The City of Melbourne's population is made up of many groups of people of all ages and from many different cultures. Residents include young professionals, international students and older couples looking to enjoy everything the city has to offer. On an average weekday, around 949,000 people use the city, and each year Melbourne hosts over a million international visitors.
- Melbourne used to have a history of public bathing, with residents taking to the Yarra River, the sea and city baths. If you would like to take a peek at what a bathing box looked like, there are still more than 1,800 private bathing boxes and boat sheds scattered around in Brighton.
- Five of the six tallest buildings in Australia are in Melbourne’s CBD.
- 38 per cent of the population in Melbourne were born overseas, as of 2013.
- Melbourne’s tramway system is the largest outside Europe and the fourth largest in the world, stretching along 244km of track and boasting 450 trams.
The City of Melbourne, as a council (Melbourne City Council), oversees the municipal area that includes Melbourne's city center and several inner suburbs. As a capital-city council, it also speaks on behalf of Melbourne in local, national and international forums. The City of Melbourne works with other local councils and the Victorian Government to ensure that Melbourne is one of the safest, healthiest and cleanest cities in the world. It supports Melbourne's position as Australia's pre-eminent centre for arts and culture, education, dining and shopping. The City of Melbourne's seven neighboring councils are Hobsons Bay, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Yarra, Moreland, Moonee Valley and Maribyrnong.
Melbourne is driving national economic growth on the back of burgeoning finance, construction and health services, with forecasts it will challenge Sydney as the Australian economy’s most important city. SGS Economics and Planning found that during 2018-19, the Melbourne economy alone accounted for 40 percent of Australia’s total growth. Melbourne gross domestic product reached $369 billion compared with regional Victoria's $76 billion. Australian GDP expanded by 1.9 percent, but Melbourne’s own GDP lifted by 4 percent. Sydney GDP at $461 billion grew by 2.6 percent, its lowest rate since 2012-13, to account for a third of national growth.
In its place, the financial sector is now the city’s most important, followed by professional services, construction and healthcare. Sydney’s manufacturing sector accounts for almost 5 percent of the city’s GDP, half what it did two decades ago. Its dependence on the finance sector has grown to a nationwide high of 14 percent. Professional services, construction, and healthcare are also key parts of the Sydney economy.
At the focal point of the state's world-class infrastructure is Melbourne, with its modern, integrated system of road networks, with its suburban grid elegantly overlaid with high speed, efficient freeways, linked to the city's port and airports. Great infrastructure not only makes the smooth movement of goods and data in aleading Australian export economy a certainty, it is also a crucial element in helping a city develop new technologies and new knowledge. Melbourne's impressive infrastructure includes:
- four deep-water ports, including the Port of Melbourne.
- two major curfew-free airports, including Melbourne Airport.
- a dense and diverse concentration of educational, technology, health and research infrastructure (Australia's only synchrotron and the new Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity); fast national broadband (based on fibre optics, with fibre to the node FTTN).
- reliable low-cost electricity and gas supplied by a privatised, deregulated energy sector; some of the world's best quality water (backed up by HACCPS quality assurance), with supply guaranteed by one of the world's largest desalination plants.
- world-class events and entertainment infrastructure for Australia's busiest events city.
Cooling and greening Melbourne and increasing sustainability and resilience through green infrastructure is a priority under Plan Melbourne. Find out about key initiatives underway that support the delivery of green infrastructure to create more livable and climate-adapted communities.Fishermans Bend is Australia's largest urban renewal project covering approximately 480 hectares in the heart of Melbourne. It is a flagship project that will make significant contributions to delivering Plan Melbourne.
Victoria's ICT industry is substantial, generating A$34 billion in revenue annually and directly employing around 91,300 people. It is internationally competitive, generating exports of around A$2.5 billion annually. Melbourne is Australia's technology hub, with more than half of Australia's top 20 technology companies. Victoria's ICT industry has over 8,000 companies, including many international firms such as IBM, Microsoft and Intel. The ICT industry workforce underpins innovation and competitiveness across Victoria's economy and accounts for approximately 31 percent of Australia's ICT workforce.
Some of Victoria's key ICT strengths are in:
- Software development
- Cloud technology
- Digital games
- Mobility technology
- Social networks
- Data analytics
Technology skills and capabilities are foundational to Victoria's economic growth. In this unique and transformative sector, a continued focus on ICT skills and our ICT workforce is needed to meet current, future and new demands. Melbourne produces many successful games, learning applications, online retail solutions, advertising campaigns and is the only international city outside of the USA to host the world-renowned ultimate gaming expo – Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). 'Real Racing 3' is an example of a mobile game app produced in Melbourne by the country's largest games studio (Electronic Arts).