Map Australia
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Australia


Background: Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession of the east coast in the name of Great Britain (all of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia). Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include ageing of the population, pressure on infrastructure, and environmental issues such as more frequent droughts.
Location: Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Area land: 7,682,300 sq km
Area water: 58,920 sq km
Coastline: 25,760 km
Country name conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia
Country name conventional short form: Australia
Country name former: Commonwealth of Australia
Population: 21,766,711 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.3% (male 2,040,848/female 1,937,544); 15-64 years: 67.7% (male 7,469,092/female 7,266,143); 65 years and over: 14% (male 1,398,576/female 1,654,508) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.148% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 12.33 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 6.88 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 6.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.055 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female; total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.61 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 4.93 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 4.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 81.81 years; male: 79.4 years; female: 84.35 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.78 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 20,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Australian(s); adjective: Australian;
Ethnic groups: white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%;
Religions: Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census);
Languages: English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $889.6 billion (2010 est.); $861.1 billion (2009 est.); $850.9 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $1.22 trillion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.3% (2010 est.); 1.2% (2009 est.); 2.2% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $41,300 (2010 est.); $40,500 (2009 est.); $40,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4%; industry: 24.8%; services: 71.2% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: NA%;
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%; highest 10%: 25.4% (1994);
Labor force: 11.62 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 3.6%; industry: 21.1%; services: 75% (2009 est.);
Unemployment rate: 5.1% (2010 est.); 5.6% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $396.1 billion; expenditures: $426.5 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel;
Industrial production growth rate: 3% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 239.9 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 222 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


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Displaying 1 to 7 of 12 items.

Age, The

(Centrist), Melbourne

Australian Financial Review, The

(Centrist), Sydney

Australian, The

(conservative), Sydney

Canberra Times, The

(Centrist), Canberra

Courier-Mail, The

(Conservative), Brisbane

Daily Telegraph Mirror

(Conservative), Sydney

Green Left Weekly

(Radical newspaper), New South Wales

Australia in the News

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Displaying 17 to 20 of 62 items.

Australia: Draft Nuclear Report Fails to Convince

A recent draft report giving the green light to a nuclear powered future for the country, has drawn criticism for failing to address the issue of nuclear power plant safety. By Rich Bowden.

Behind Howard's Dangerous Nuclear Push

The current

Gorbachev Urges Australia, U.S. to Sign Kyoto Protocol, Avoid Nuclear Power

Mikhail Gorbachev has urged Australia and the United States to sign the Kyoto Protocol while cautioning the Australian government not to go down the path of nuclear power.

Howard Pushes for Uranium Enrichment

Australia's current involvement in the nuclear industry is limited to the mining and export of "yellowcake" and the operation of a small research reactor at in southern Sydney.

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