The first set of 2021 Census data was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 28 June 2022.

This snapshot of Australia’s population and households is used to analyse trends in behaviour and provide deep understanding essential to planning for communities.

Highlights for Victoria from the new data are outlined and below, with key stats on growth and ageing in the interactive map. Further analysis will be provided in upcoming Insights articles which drill down into specific topics and on our Census data and analysis page.

View Census data and analysis

There was strong population growth between 2016 and 2021

  • Victoria’s population was 577,000 people higher (or around 10%) in the 2021 Census than in the 2016 Census, making it the second-largest state for population growth after New South Wales (591,000).
  • This amount of growth was about the same as the previous five-year period (addition of 573,000).
  • Metropolitan Melbourne grew by 418,000 – strong growth but lower than the 475,000 added between 2011 and 2016.
  • Regional Victoria added 157,000 people between 2016 and 2021, much more than in the period 2011 to 2016 (99,000 people).

Victoria’s population has continued its long-term ageing trend

  • The median age of Victoria’s population increased from 37 years to 38 years from 2016 to 2021.
  • The population of most age groups increased. The exceptions were the 25 to 34 age group (due to COVID-era out-migration) and the 0 to 4 age group (due to a plateau in annual birth numbers over the last five years).

Victoria’s population is increasingly diverse

  • Approximately 1% of Victorians identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in 2021, an increase from 0.8% in 2016.
  • The number of Victorians identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander increased from 46,000 to 64,000 over the five-year period, through changes in individuals’ identification and from natural growth in the population.
  • Approximately 30% of Victorians were born overseas and 28% speak a language other than English at home (up from 28% and 26% in 2016).

The average size of a household in Victoria decreased slightly

  • The average Victorian household had 2.6 persons in 2016 and 2.5 persons in 2021.
  • This was largely due to a significant increase in the number of lone person households and a smaller increase in the number of two-person households.

Map showing median age and population change by LGA

Hover over an LGA to show detail


If you have any questions about the Census information above, please email  Policy and Performance.

Page last updated: 01/07/22