Victoria, located in the south-east of the mainland, is, in terms of land area, the smallest of Australia’s States. Victoria is, however, Australia's most densely populated state and, with approximately 5,355,000 people, its second-most populous state overall. Its capital and largest city, Melbourne is Australia's second-largest city.
Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west. It enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and relatively warm to hot and dry summers.
Victoria, despite its relatively small area, is home to a wide variety of regions and landscapes. The alpine region is one of Australia’s favourite winter playgrounds while the southern coastline and the famous ‘surf coast,’ featuring the Great Ocean Road, offer some of the most dramatic scenery to be found anywhere in the world, including ancient temperate rainforests and spectacular landforms shaped by the Southern Ocean. The riverland region is lush and rich thanks to the widespread use of irrigation and the western districts, with sprawling grazing and farming properties, provide an excellent example of the rural wealth of the Australian continent.
Approximately 70% of Victorians are Australian born. This percentage decreases to around two-thirds in Melbourne but increases to higher than 90% in some rural areas in the north west of the state. Around 65% of Victorians have Australian, Scottish, English or Irish heritage. The largest groups of people born outside Australia came from Britain, Greece, Italy China, Vietnam and New Zealand.
More than 75% of all Victorians live in Melbourne which is located on the coast in the State's south. The greater Melbourne metropolitan area is home to an estimated 4.2 million people. Other major urban population centres include Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat.
The Victorian capital is a world-class city that is famous for hosting some of the most prestigious events on the international sporting calendar. Although Melbourne does lack the benefits of Sydney’s magnificent harbour setting, the character of the city does to some extent set it apart from the nation’s largest population centre.
‘Melbournians,’ as they are known, are quick to highlight the cultural life of the city and the more refined nature of the city’s major boulevards when they talk about the Victorian capital.
Melbourne currently has a population of approximately 4.2 million people. This population is increasing at a significant rate by Australian standards and is expected to pass the population of Sydney in the late 2020’s which will make Melbourne Australia’s largest city.
Despite it size and rate of growth, Melbourne has been ranked as the world’s most liveable city for 2013 by the Economist Intelligence Unit and has regularly featured in the top 3 of these rankings in recent years. Given the cultural, sporting and entertainment options Melbourne offers, such a ranking shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Melbourne has a number of other distinct advantages including access to world class universities, multiple options for those interested in technical and further education, an excellent schools system, easily accessible health care facilities, Australia’s most widespread network of tram and rail services and arts and cultural institutions that are the envy of many large cities overseas.
Additionally, housing affordability in Melbourne has increased in recent months, as the median price of a dwelling in Melbourne has grown at a slower rate than in the rest of Victoria. The portion of income required to meet loan repayments for a house in Melbourne has decreased in the last twelve months when compared with the March quarter in 2012.
Melbourne is also home to the busiest seaport in Australia and its financial hub rivals that of Sydney in terms of its importance to the Australian economy.
In summary, Melbourne offers a diverse and rich lifestyle in a city that is a major centre of growth in Australia. It's ranking as the world’s most liveable city comes as no surprise to its many residents and the expectation is that Melbourne will continue to lead the way in the liveability stakes.
The Victorian economy is highly diversified. The services sector, including financial and property services, health and education, retail, hospitality and tourism all make significant contributions to employment in Victoria.
The manufacturing sector is also significant although not as important as it once was, largely due to the downturn in manufacturing in Australia in recent decades. This sort of re-structure is often the hallmark of a mature, developed economy.
For more information on the Victorian Economy: here
Major Regional Cities
Victoria is home to a number of major regional centres despite that fact that the vast majority of Victoria’s population is resident in Melbourne.
Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city, is located on the coast approximately 75 kilometres south west of Melbourne and has a population of around 215,000 people. Geelong was for many years a major industrial centre and is currently home the Ford Australia Motor Company.
For more information on the Victorian Regional Communities: here
Victoria’s education network is the equal of any in Australia. Pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, Institutes of TAFE and universities are readily accessible and the quality of the education that is offered is high.
The public schools system managed by the Victorian government is extensive and students attend without the need to pay tuition fees. There are also many independent schools in Victoria with in excess of 30% of Victoria’s school aged population currently attending an independent or private school.
Post-secondary education is provided by Victoria’s nine Universities or one the many Institutes of Technical and Further Education located throughout the state.
Victoria’s universities are world class and include the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University, Latrobe University, Swinburne University of Technology, RMIT University, the University of Ballarat, Victoria University and the Australian Catholic University.
An emphasis on the provision of a world class education is common to each of these institutions.