Officially we will be 20 million on December 4, Nov 2003

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November 4, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Officially we will be 20 million on December 4

Australia's official population is estimated to reach 20 million on December 4, 2003, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced today.

The Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin, said the population milestone would form part of Australia's demographic history.

"It is a nice round number and there has been some debate about precisely when it will be reached," he said.

"Our official estimate of December 4 takes into account all the information that we have available from births, deaths, overseas arrivals and departures and the 2001 Population Census."

Mr Trewin said it was not feasible to determine who exactly the 20 millionth Australian would be because of the variable nature of population increases.

However, it could be a person born around that time, a person who arrives as a permanent settler in Australia, or perhaps an Australian citizen returning home after living overseas for more than 12 months.

Radio please note:

The Statistician in charge of Population and Demography is available for prerecorded news grabs this afternoon, this evening and tomorrow.

All media note:

ABS will be organising a photo opportunity and event at ABS House in Belconnen, Canberra on the morning of December 4. We will advise more details closer to the time.