State Capital & Second Largest City

Melbourne is the state capital of Victoria and second largest city in Australia, with a metropolitan population of approximately 3.8 million (2007 estimate). Located around the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is the business, administrative, cultural and recreational hub of this south eastern Australian state and it is often dubbed as Australia's 'sporting and cultural' capital.

Melbourne is notable for its multicultural society, mix of Victorian and contemporary architecture (see Melbourne's buildings), extensive tram network and parks and gardens. It was the host city of the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In 1981, it hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and in 2006 the city hosted the G20 Summit (a meeting of the leaders of the world's 19 largest economies). 

Municipality & Capital City

The City of Melbourne, as a municipality, oversees Melbourne’s city centre and several inner suburbs. As a capital-city council, it also speaks on behalf of Melbourne in local, national and international forums.

Suburbs within the municipality of the City of Melbourne include: Carlton, CBD, Docklands, East Melbourne, Kensington, North Melbourne, Parkville, Southbank, South Yarra-St Kilda Road, West Melbourne and Port Melbourne (Fisherman's Bend).

Melbourne CBD & Suburbs

The Melbourne Central Business District, laid out in a large rectangle, sits on the northern banks of the Yarra River, about five kilometres from the Bay. Radiating from the CBD to the west, north, east and southeast are the sprawling suburbs of Melbourne, some as far as 40 kilometres from the heart of the City. 

Neighbouring Councils of the City of Melbourne include: Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Yarra, Stonnington and Port Phillip.

Melbourne Docklands by night

Great Place to Study, Work & Live

Melbourne is a great place to study, work and live. It is home to eight universities (see Study in Melbourne), 19 TAFE institutions and headquarters to five of the ten largest companies in the country (see Melbourne's economy). 

Overseas Born Population

Almost a quarter of Victoria's population was born overseas, and Melbourne is home to residents from 233 countries, who speak over 180 languages and dialects and follow 116 religious faiths. Melbourne has the second largest Asian population in Australia, which includes the largest Vietnamese, Indian and Sri Lankan communities in the country.

Over two-thirds of people in Melbourne speak only English at home (68.8 per cent). Italian is the second most common home language (4.0 per cent), with Greek third and Chinese fourth, each with over 100,000 speakers.


Significant overseas born populations
Place of Birth Population (2006)
United Kingdom 156,457
Italy 73,801
Vietnam 57,926
Mainland China 54,726
New Zealand 52,453
Greece 52,279
India 50,686
Sri Lanka 30,594
Malaysia 29,174
Philippines 24,568
Germany 21,182
Malta 18,951
South Africa 17,317
Rep. Macedonia 17,287
Hong Kong 16,917
Poland 16,439
Croatia 15,367
Lebanon 14,645
Netherlands 14,581
Turkey 14,124

World's Second Most Livable City

The Economist Intelligence Unit's livability shows cities in Canada, Australia, Austria and Switzerland as the most ideal destinations thanks to a widespread availability of goods and services, low personal risk and an effective infrastructure. The report placed Vancouver, Canadaas the most livable city in the world, with Melbourne, Australia taking second place followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. The survey said "In the current global political climate, it is no surprise that the most desirable destinations are those with a lower perceived threat of terrorism."