SYDNEY, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Sydney's population has reached 5 million, with a surge in people moving to high density, inner-city suburbs, a population report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed Thursday.
Data collected up to June 2016 showed a significant increase, considering the figure was 4 million in the year 2000.
In the state of New South Wales, 78 percent of the population's increase was absorbed by Sydney.
There is some concern, however, that the rise has come at the expense of rural Australia, but chief executive officer of the Regional Australia Institute, Jack Archer, explained that the increased population in Sydney has come predominantly from overseas migrants.
"Regional areas in Australia are still growing, just not as fast as our big cities," he said.
"Younger people tend to go into the city to find work and then older people tend to migrate out, so it has a way of balancing itself out."
It's predicted that the number of people living in Sydney will surpass 6 million by the year 2028.
However, on current trends, Melbourne is on track to take over Sydney as the most populated city in Australia some time around 2050.
At the moment, around 40 percent of all Australians live in either Sydney or Melbourne, with that percentage expected to increase further.
But Archer believes Australia should find new ways of connecting migrants with rural Australia to revitalise regional communities.
"There's a huge opportunity to encourage migrants to move to some of these regional communities, because there are jobs available in the area," Archer said.