Close window

Regional Development Victoria

Regional snapshot

Enveloped in a rich natural setting, Melbourne East is a premier urban region, renowned for its high amenity and liveability. Residents and businesses gain significant economic advantage from key strategic assets located in the region. Opportunities exist for improvement. Harvesting these will ensure the region’s prosperity into the future.

Melbourne’s East covers 2,964 square kilometres, extending from densely populated urban areas in the western (or ‘Inner’) part, to less populated rural areas in the eastern (or ‘Outer’) part. It includes the LGAs of Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.

Melbourne’s East can be characterised by:

  • A population of 1,044,000 people or 24.5 per cent of Melbourne’s total population (2013)
  • Being home to 24 per cent of Melbourne’s working age population
  • 367,000 households or 24 per cent of Melbourne’s households
  • A growing number of residents aged over 55, resulting in an increase in the share of those living in the region from 21.2 per cent in 1996 to 28.3 per cent in 2013.
  • The average weekly income in Melbourne East is 5.5% higher than the Melbourne average, where the average weekly income in Boroondara and Manningham are well above the Melbourne average by 33.8% and 11.2% respectively; and Maroondah and Yarra Ranges are below the Melbourne Average by 4.1% and 6.6% respectively. All other municipalities in the Melbourne East region are on par with the state average.
  • An average per capita disposable income of $41,000 (2013), that is, $43,700 in the Inner East falling to an average of $39,000 in the Outer East. The LGA with highest per capita disposable income is Boroondara at $57,600 and the lowest is Monash at $35,600;
  • Melbourne East has a significantly higher proportion of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, compared to the Melbourne average. Despite high average educational attainment and high average incomes, however, the region is diverse, with areas of economic and educational disadvantage. 63,000 people receive Commonwealth assistance (excluding Age Pensions), making life particularly hard for this group in an area with high housing costs and contrasting affluence.
  • 545,800 people in either full-time or part-time employment.
  • 37,000 people unemployed, or 18 per cent of Melbourne’s total unemployment. The number of unemployed rises to 43,700 persons when adjusted up for those unemployed due to disability, with lower proportions of residents receiving unemployment and disability payments than those for Melbourne as a whole. This represents a total unemployment burden that is relatively low particularly when compared to the 26 per cent of Melbourne’s unemployed residing in other regions of metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Just under 500,000 residents who are not in the labour force (including 37,000 unemployed);
  • Major employers are in the retail, manufacturing, health and community, and property and business services sectors.
  • Gross Regional Product at $40.5 billion (16.8% of Melbourne’s GRP), significantly lower than the GRP expected based on the region having 24% of the working age population of Melbourne, and indicating a lower level of productivity.
  • A projected Regional average population growth at 0.88% per annum. Growth estimates appear high compared with historic rates that averaged 0.57% per annum across the period 2001-2011. Population growth is projected to vary across the region, adding the greatest number of persons to Monash (31,193 persons) and the highest rate of growth to Manningham (22.12%).
  • A predominantly English speaking population (70% speaking English at home). Other significant language groups in Melbourne East include: Mandarin (4.83%), Cantonese (3.53%), Greek (3.24%) and Italian (2.07%). The proportion of Mandarin and Cantonese speaking people have been increasing over time, while those speaking Greek and Italian at home are in decline, reflecting historic migration trends.
  • A balance of rural, peri-urban, dense urban and natural environment, which contains burgeoning infill development at strategic centres.

Take a look around the East

Whether you’re living in the East, studying locally or here to visit, there is something for everyone. Take a look around the East of Melbourne with this series of student tourism clips funded by the Melbourne East RDA.

Capture the beauty of our natural wonders through our national parks, forests, reserves and sanctuaries, then have coffee and cake at one of our gourmet cafes.


Visit a vineyard, see how grapes are grown, taste the many different varieties of wine and enjoy some fine food.

Puffing Billy and Healesville Sanctuary

Ride a 100-year-old steam train through some of Victoria’s most beautiful scenery, or get up close to some of Australia’s amazing wildlife.

Markets, bikes and rowboats

Drop into a regional library, search for a bargain in a local market, enjoy a bike ride or take a rowboat out on to the Yarra River.

Galleries, nature, history and more

Discover art galleries, secret sculpture gardens, fabulous cafes and more when you visit Bulleen and historic Warrandyte.


Help us celebrate at one of our many multicultural festivals, with food, fun, dancing, laughter, friends and more.

Adventure activities

Go for a drive to winery country, take a sedgway ride or swing through the trees, then enjoy a delicious meal in a welcoming café.

© Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria

Last Updated: 15 April 2016