The official Dutch population counter has ticked over to 17 million amid speculation that the landmark may have been reached with the registration of a migrant rather than the birth of a child.

Earlier this month, the Central Bureau for Statistics said the 17 millionth inhabitant "could be a baby, a refugee from Syria, a worker from Poland, a student from China or a returning Dutch person."

It added "the chance is bigger that it is an immigrant than a baby" because more people are arriving in the country than are being born.

The population counter is an estimate tallied on the website of the government's official statistician. There is no way of knowing exactly who the small and densely populated nation's 17 millionth inhabitant really is.