Australia: People<named-content content-type="print">, Economy, and Government</named-content>
People<named-content content-type="print">, Economy, and Government</named-content>
Most Australians are of British and Irish ancestry and the majority of the country lives in urban areas. The population has more than doubled since the end of World War II, spurred by an ambitious postwar immigration program. In the postwar years, immigration from Greece, Turkey, Italy, and other countries began to increase Australia's cultural diversity. When Australia officially ended (1973) discriminatory policies dating to the 19th cent. that were designed to prevent immigration by nonwhites, substantial Asian immigration followed.
The indigenous population, the Australian aborigines, estimated to number as little as 300,000 and as many as 800,000 at the time of the Europeans' arrival, was numbered at 366,429 in 2001. Although still more rural than the general population, the aboriginal population has become more urbanized, with some two thirds living in cities. New South Wales and Queensland account for just over half of the Australian aboriginal population. In Tasmania the aboriginal population was virtually wiped out in the 19th cent.
There is no state religion in Australia. The largest religions are the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other Christian groups. Although education is not a federal concern, government grants have aided in the establishment of state universities including the Univ. of Sydney (1852), the Univ. of Melbourne (1854), the Univ. of Adelaide (1874), and the Univ. of Queensland (in Brisbane, 1909).
Sections in this article:
- Modern Australia
- Early History and Colonization
- People<named-content content-type="print">, Economy, and Government</named-content>
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