Australian population reaches 23 million

Australia's population reached 23 million earlier this year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) 12 month projections.

The 23rd millionth person could have been a new born baby, but could equally have been a person coming to work in Australia or a returning backpacker who has been away for more than a year.

Net overseas migration accounted for 60 per cent of Australia's total growth, with the remaining 40 per cent due to natural increase for the year ending 30 September 2012, suggesting it is less likely to be a new born baby. This is the highest annual increase in net overseas migration in almost five years and is fuelling house price growth in many states across the country.

Since reaching 20 million in late 2003, there has been around three years between each million person increase, with the population reaching 21 million in 2007 and 22 million in 2010.