Australia’s population hit 24 million on Tuesday – 17 years earlier than official predictions made in 2000, thanks to increased fertility, greater longevity and robust net migration.


The nation has added its latest million in record time – just 2 years, 9 months and 2 days since 23 million ticked over. During the second half of last century, it took four-and-a-half years to add each million people.


Private sector demographer Mark McCrindle said Australia’s faster than anticipated population growth helps explain public frustration about traffic gridlock and crowded trains.


“It’s no real surprise that infrastructure is playing catch-up because the population has overshot the forecasts on which the planning was based,” he said.


The Bureau of Statistics said Australia’s population is projected to reach 25 million in 2018.