Australia’s population to surpass 24 million

Canberra, Feb 15 (IANS) Australia’s population is expected to surpass 24 million people in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announced on Monday.

Beidar Cho from the ABS said the government body’s population clock will tick past 24 million at “about” 12.50 a.m. on Tuesday morning – further cementing Australia’a spot as the 52nd most populated country in the world, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The population clock is an indication of the current population, based on a projection calculated using births and deaths data from the ABS and migration figures from the department of immigration and border protection,” Cho said.

“We do not know who the 24 millionth Australian is: it could be a newborn or a migrant.”

Overseas migration currently accounts for 53 percent of Australia’s population growth, meaning the 24 millionth Australian is more likely to be a migrant rather than a newborn baby.

Cho said it would be unlikely that authorities would be able to identify the recipient of the unofficial title.

The ABS added that since 2003, the Australian population had been growing at one million people every three years or so, and at a birth rate very similar to that when Australia announced its federation in 1901.

Australia reached a population of 23 million people in the first quarter of 2013, but it is likely to only take two years to reach 25 million – the ABS has predicted that will occur sometime in 2018.

Despite the news, Cho also pointed out that a number of “megacities” are already larger than the entire population of Australia, with both Shanghai, China (24 million) and Tokyo, Japan (37 million) already boasting more people than the land down under.

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