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Suburbs and residents

Suburbs and residents

The City of Whittlesea is located in Melbourne’s north, about 20km from the Central Business District (CBD). The Metropolitan Ring Road provides direct freeway links to airports, docks and central Melbourne.

Suburbs and geography

We are one of the largest municipalities in metropolitan Melbourne, covering an area of approximately 489 square kilometres.

About 70 per cent of the City is rural area, with the other 30 per cent being urban area, comprising houses, shops and factories.

Our urban area includes:

Our rural north includes:



We are one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia and currently welcome around 8000 new residents per year (about 156 a week). On average there are 63 babies born every week in the City of Whittlesea.

Our current population is approximately 202,730 residents, and this is expected to grow to 333,700 persons by 2036.

We are also home to Australia’s fastest growing suburb over the last 10 years - South Morang.

Our growth is not just taking place in our newer suburbs, but there is also massive growth and redevelopment set to take place in our established areas - such as Epping, Thomastown and Lalor.

You can view detailed demographic information in our Place Profiles report.

View population forecasts for the City of Whittlesea to the year 2036.


Age profile

In 2015, we are home to a higher than average number of people aged under 25, and a lower proportion of people in older age groups. However, by 2036, our population of people aged over 50 will almost double.

By 2036, our city will have approximately 37,000 more children aged under 17 than in 2015 (an increase of 78 per cent).


We are one of the most multicultural municipalities in Victoria, and over 40 per cent of residents speak a language other than English at home.

Our residents come from over a wide range of backgrounds with a very high percentage born in other countries, particularly Italy, Macedonia, Greece and India.

New migrants also make up a small percentage of the Whittlesea community.

Our urban areas of Thomastown, Lalor and Epping contain a greater proportion of people from non-English speaking backgrounds than other parts of the city.

We have the fourth largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Victoria.


There are approximately 68,000 houses in the City of Whittlesea. This figure is expected to almost double by 2036 to about 114,000:

  • Nearly 90 per cent of residents live in separate, detached houses
  • About 43 per cent of households consist of couples with children and on average there are 3 people per household.

By 2036, the number of families will increase by over 27,000 families (a 72 per cent increase).

Further information

Access more socio-demographic information about our community.

Growth and development

In 2010 the Victorian Government introduced the Urban Growth Zone, increasing land for 90,000 new residential blocks, within areas known as Melbourne’s 7 growth areas, including the City of Whittlesea.

New and emerging growth areas will have the most rapid population growth.

Our highest population growth over the next 20 years will be in Mernda, Doreen, Epping North, Wollert and Donnybrook.

The established areas will continue to grow especially Epping Central (Epping), Plenty Valley Town Centre (South Morang), Thomastown, Lalor and University Hill (Bundoora).

Jobs and employment

In 2014, there were just over 57,000 jobs located in the City of Whittlesea.

Approximately 88,500 people who live here are employed. Of our employed residents:

  • almost 58 per cent work outside of the municipality, many in the areas of Darebin, Hume and inner Melbourne
  • approximately 26 per cent live and work within the City of Whittlesea
  • almost two thirds work full-time and 29 per cent work part-time

Travel and transport

Residents of the municipality rely more heavily on driving a car to their place of work than residents in many other parts of Melbourne, with more than 41,700 residents travelling outside of the City of Whittlesea for work.

Over 61 per cent of households have access to 2 or more motor vehicles.

The train is the most popular form of public transport for commuters.