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Australia Facts

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  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
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 in the name of Great Britain. 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 pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.
Common Name: Australia Local Official Name: Australia
Abbreviated Name: Commonwealth of Australia Official Name: Australia
Official Script Name: Australia Local Common Name: Australia
Former Name: Australia Territory of: NA
Head of State: Queen ELIZABETH II
Government Type: federal parliamentary democracy
Independence: 1901 January 1 (federation of UK colonies)
Constitution: 1900 July 9, effective 1901 January 1
National Holiday: Australia Day, 26 January
International Organization Participation: ANZUS, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EAS, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Paris Club, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Administrative Divisions: 6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
Dependent Areas: Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island, Macquarie Island
Legal System: based on English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Michael JEFFERY (since 11 August 2003) head of government: Prime Minister John Winston HOWARD (since 11 March 1996); Deputy Prime Minister Mark VAILE (since 6 July 2005) cabinet: prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament, candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to serve as government ministers elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor general note: government coalition - Liberal Party and National Party Legislative Branch: bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats - 12 from each of the six states and 2 from each of the two mainland territories; one-half of state members are elected every three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms while all territory members are elected every three years) and the House of Representatives (150 seats; members elected by popular preferential voting to serve terms of up to three-years; no state can have fewer than 5 representatives) elections: Senate - last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held no later than June 2008); House of Representatives - last held 9 October 2004 (next to be called no later than November 2007) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 39, Australian Labor Party 28, Democrats 4, Australian Greens 4, Family First Party 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 87, Australian Labor Party 60, independents 3 Judicial Branch: High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed by the governor general)
Party Leaders: Australian Democrats [Lyn ALLISON]; Australian Greens [Bob BROWN]; Australian Labor Party [Kim BEAZLEY]; Country Liberal Party [Jodeen CARNEY]; Family First Party [Steve FIELDING]; Liberal Party [John Winston HOWARD]; The Nationals [Mark VAILE]
International Disputes: East Timor and Australia agreed in 2005 to defer the disputed portion of the boundary for fifty years and to split hydrocarbon revenues evenly outside the Joint Petroleum Development Area covered by the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty; East Timor dispute hampers creation of a revised maritime boundary with Indonesia (see also Ashmore and Cartier Islands dispute); regional states express concern over Australia's 2004 declaration of a 1,000-nautical mile-wide maritime identification zone; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to Antarctica (see Antarctica); in 2004 Australia submitted its claims to UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) to extend its continental margin from both its mainland and Antarctic claims
Illicit Drugs: Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate 
  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
Location of Australia: Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Continent: Australia Land Area Total: 7,686,850 sq km 
Region: ANZ Land Area Land: 7,617,930 sq km
Capitol City: Canberra Land Area Water: 68,920 sq km
Latitude: 027 00 S Border Boundary Land: 0 km
Longitude: 133 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 25,760 km 
Arable Land: 6.15 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 0.04 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 2,229 m Location: Mount Kosciuszko
Lowest Elevation: -15 m Location: Lake Eyre
Largest City in Australia: Sydney Sydney Largest City Population: 3,649,000
Threatened Species: 583
Environmental Issues: soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping and its popularity as a tourist site; limited natural fresh water resources
Environmental Agreements: party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Irrigated Land: 25,450
Bordering Countries: NA
Natural Resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
Geographical Terrain: mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Comparative Area of Australia: slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
Australia's Geography: world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the invigorating tropical sea breeze known as the "Fremantle Doctor" affects the city of Perth on the west coast, and is one of the mo

  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
General Climate: generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
Natural Hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires
  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
Economic Overview: Australia has an enviable Western-style capitalist economy with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant West European economies. Rising output in the domestic economy, robust business and consumer confidence, and rising exports of raw materials and agricultural products are fueling the economy. Australia's emphasis on reforms, low inflation, and growing ties with China are other key factors behind the economy's strength. The impact of drought, weak foreign demand, and strong import demand pushed the trade deficit up from $8 billion in 2002, to $18 billion in 2003, $13 billion in 2004, and nearly $17 billion in 2005. Housing prices probably peaked in 2005, diminishing the prospect that interest rates would be raised to prevent a speculative bubble. Conservative fiscal policies have kept Australia's budget in surplus from 2002 to 2005.
GDP: $635,500,000,000 USD Currency: Australian dollar
GDP per Capita: $31,600 USD Currency Code: AUD
GDP Growth Rate: 2.70 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003), 1.8406 (2002), 1.9334 (2001)
GDP of Agriculture: 3.80 % GDP of Industry: 26.20 %
GDP of Services: 70.00 %  
Inflation Rate: 2.70 % Population in Poverty: 0.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 5.10 % Tourism: 4,459,000.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 2.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $249,800,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 25.40 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $240,200,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 237,000,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 221,000,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 0 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 89.79% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 8.47% Other Electricity Production: 1.74%
Oil Production: 530,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 35,600,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 875,600 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 25,080,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 523,400 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 9,744,000,000 cu m
Oil Imports: 530,800 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 3,664,000,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 2,549,000,000,000 cu m
External Debt: $323,400,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $0 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $894,000,000 USD
Agricultural Products: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits, cattle, sheep, poultry
Primary Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
Industrial Growth Rate: 1.10 %
Import Amount in USD: $119,600,000,000 USD - machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products
Import Partners: US 13.9%, China 13.7%, Japan 11%, Singapore 5.6%, Germany 5.6%
Export Amount in USD: $103,000,000,000 USD - coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment
Export Partners: Japan 20.3%, China 11.5%, South Korea 7.9%, US 6.7%, NZ 6.5%, India 5%
GINI Index: 35.20%
Labor Force Number of People: 10,420,000
Labor Force by Occupations: services 75.2%, industry 21.2%, agriculture 3.6%
  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
Radio Broadcast Stations: 608 Number of People with Radios: 25,500,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 104 Number of People with Televisions: 10,150,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 11,460,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 18,420,000
Internet Service Providers: 7,772,888 Internet Users: 14,663,622
Internet Country Code: .au Newspapers: 293
Two Letter Country Code: AS Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 61 Electricity Voltage: 240 Volts
Telephone Systems: general assessment: excellent domestic and international service domestic: domestic satellite system; much use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile cellular telephones international: country code - 61; submarine cables to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia; satellite earth stations - 19 (10 Intelsat - 4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean, 2 Inmarsat - Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, 2 Globalstar, 5 other)
  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  


Highways: 336,962 km Railways: 47,738 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 8,600 km Waterways: 2,000 km
Airports: 311 Heliports: 1
Motor Vehicles: 634 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 337,973,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 17.30 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: total: 53 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,361,000 GRT/1,532,874 DWT by type: bulk carrier 17, cargo 4, chemical tanker 3, container 1, liquefied gas 4, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 6, roll on/roll off 5 foreign-owned: 17 (Canada 1, France 3, Germany 3, Japan 1, Netherlands 2, Norway 1, Philippines 1, UK 2, US 3) registered in other countries: 34 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Bahamas 2, Bermuda 3, Fiji 1, Hong Kong 1, Liberia 2, Marshall Islands 2, Netherlands 1, NZ 2, Panama 3, Portugal 1, Singapore 7, Tonga 1, UK 3, US 2, Vanuatu 2)
Ports and Harbors: Brisbane, Dampier, Fremantle, Gladstone, Hay Point, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Port Walcott, Sydney
  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
Population: 20,264,082 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 12.14 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 3.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 7.51 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.85% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.76 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 2,031,313 Population Female 0-14: 1,936,802
Population Male 15-64: 6,881,863 Population Female 15-64: 6,764,709
Population Male 65+: 1,170,589 Population Female 65+: 1,478,806
Population 0-14: 19.60% Literacy Rate: 99.00%
Population 15-64: 67.30% Literacy rate of Males: 99.00%
Population 65+: 13.10% Literacy rate of Females: 99.00%
Population that is Male: 52.50 % Population that is Female: 47.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 80.50 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 4.63 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 77.64 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 83.52 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.10% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 14,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 0
Disease Risk:
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 3.85
Nationality: AUSTRALIAN
Ethnic Groups: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1% 
Primary Language: English
Other Languages: English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8%
Primary Religion: Anglican
Other Religions: Catholic 26.4%, Anglican 20.5%, other Christian 20.5%, Buddhist 1.9%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.2%, unspecified 12.7%, none 15.3%
  Australia Facts |  Commonwealth of Australia Information | Australia Statistics  
Branches: Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Special Operations Command
Manpower Fit to Serve: 16 years
Manpower Available: 9,764,940 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 8,076,164 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 277,833 People per year
Expenditures: $0 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 2.70
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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