As Australia's population pushes towards 23 million, the federal government says it's not concerned with the size but rather the distribution and composition of the nation's people.

It's expected the population will crack the 23 million mark on Tuesday night.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, however, says the government wasn't interested in setting "arbitrary targets".

"We are interested in where the population is and the type of groups within our population," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"There are many communities where there aren't sufficient jobs and equally there are many communities where there are more jobs than people to fill them."

He said the government was working to balance this, adding that it was important to ensure migrants bring with them the skills Australia needs.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the government was looking at "where and how" people live.

"We need to think about the shape of our cities, whether jobs are close to housing," she said.