Statistics NZ said according to estimates, somebody will help New Zealand reach the rare number on November 1.
"While the new resident could be a New Zealander flying home after living overseas, or a new migrant,
they're most likely to be a new baby, as that's where most of our population growth is coming from,"
population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said.
"And who knows? That new boy or girl might even be born at 4.44 in the morning."
The milestone matches one the Australian state of Queensland reached three years ago, and puts New Zealand's population close to that of Ireland or Croatia, Blackburn said.
"These types of landmarks are quite rare. Our population hit 3,333,333 in the mid-1980s and based on
our projections, we probably won't get to 5,555,555 for another 30 years.
"It will also pass quite quickly. The population is currently growing by roughly 100 people every day, so it
will only be at 4,444,444 for about quarter of an hour."
Blackburn said the population estimate is based on births, deaths, and migration since the census in
Statistics NZ counts every person in New Zealand in the Census of Population and Dwellings, which will take place in March 2013 after being delayed by the Christchurch earthquake.
"It will be extremely interesting next year with the census to get new information on the location and composition of our population across the nation," Blackburn said.
Acknowledgements: © Fairfax NZ News