And baby makes 23 million...

 He may not be the 23rd millionth Australian, but Baby Leon is one in a million for his parents, Todd and Sharleen Firth, at the Tweed hospital
He may not be the 23rd millionth Australian, but Baby Leon is one in a million for his parents, Todd and Sharleen Firth, at the Tweed hospital John Gass

YESTERDAY a baby was born, an immigrant flew in or a backpacker returned home as the 23 millionth Australian.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that yesterday at 9.57pm, according to quarterly statistics, our population rolled over to 23 million Aussies banding together in our continent of contrasts.

With a baby born every minute and 44 seconds and a net gain of one international migration every two minutes and 19 seconds, Australia is well and truly on the up.

Leon Firth was born yesterday to parents Sharleen and Todd Firth from Reedy Creek at Tweed Hospital and was just one of thousands of new Aussies welcomed into the land down under.

"Nothing can really touch this," Mrs Firth said.

"It's been busy couple of days...we feel so blessed.

"He'll have all the basics that so many countries don't have."

She said that she was thrilled to see little Leon born in such a prosperous country, where opportunities abound and there is a fair go for all.

"He'll have a loving family, freedom, education," Mrs Firth said.

"And great job prospects," Mr Firth chimed in.

"You can just go down and have a surf.

"It's just different to other countries, the freedom, quality of education and lifestyle."

Mrs Firth described Leon's birth as an adventure and Mr Firth was adamant it was a day he would never forget.

He also said that the birth rate in Australia made total sense to him, after chatting with the dedicated midwives at the hospital.

"It doesn't shock me after talking to the midwives," he said.

"They've delivered hundreds of babies."

Net overseas migration made up 60 per cent of our total growth, with the remaining 40 per cent due to natural growth, meaning that the 23 millionth Australian is likely to be an immigrant.

Some interesting bureau statistics state that since Australia hit 20 million in late 2003, there has been fairly rapid population growth, at three years between each million person increase.

Our population hit 21 million in 2007 and 22 million in 2010 and based on statistics from the 30th of September last year, the bureau said that there was an annual growth rate of 1.7 per cent, compared to the 1.1 per cent growth rate recorded in March 2011.

 Every one of our 23 million citizens, despite their background or circumstances, make up this multicultural melting pot that most of us are proud to call home.

Topics:  australia population

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