Early this morning, Australia got its 24 millionth resident. We don't know who that person was — it could have been a newborn baby or a migrant, but that doesn't matter. We're ahead of schedule, too, nearly 20 years in advance of government population projections at the turn of the millenium.
— AU Bureau of Stats (@ABSStats) February 15, 2016
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' population clock, we ticked over the 24 million number in the early hours of February 16, and have kept on ticking to add on another 500 or so since then. It's a bit of a silly cause for celebration, sure — it's just a number — but that hasn't stopped pundits like Dick Smith decrying Australia's immigration figures — he told ABC 720 Perth "we'll turn Sydney into Shanghai".
The last official population count that the ABS relies upon is from 30 June 2015; the current forecast expects a consistent rate of increase of around one individual every 90 seconds since then, based on:
- one birth every 1 minute and 44 seconds,
- one death every 3 minutes and 24 seconds,
- a net gain of one international migration every 2 minutes and 39 seconds, leading to
- an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 31 seconds.