Facts & Figures
Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)
Governor-General: Peter Cosgrove (2014)
Prime Minister: Malcolm Turnbull (2015)
Land area: 2,941,283 sq mi (7,617,931 sq km); total area: 2,967,893 sq mi (7,686,850 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 22,507,617 (growth rate: 1.09%); birth rate: 12.19/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.43/1000; life expectancy: 82.07
Capital (2011 est.): Canberra, 399,000
Largest cities: Sydney 4.543 million; Melbourne 3.961 million; Brisbane 2.039 million; Perth 1.649 million; Adelaide 1.198 million; CANBERRA (capital) 399,000 (2011)
Monetary unit: Australian dollar
Languages: English 76.8%, Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Greek 1.2%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.1%, other 10.4%, unspecified 5% (2011 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Religions: Protestant 28.8% (Anglican 17.1%, Uniting Church 5.0%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.8%, Baptist, 1.6%, Lutheran 1.2%, Pentecostal 1.1%), Catholic 25.3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.6%, other Christian 4.5%, Buddhist 2.5%, Muslim 2.2%, Hindu 1.3%, other 8.4%, unspecified 2.2%, none 22.3%(2006 est.)
National Holiday: Australia Day, January 26
Literacy rate: 99% (2011 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP $998.3 billion (2011 est.); per capita $43,000. Real growth rate: 2.5%. Inflation: 2.4%. Unemployment: 5.7%. Arable land: 6.16%. Agriculture: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry. Labor force: 12.44 million; agriculture 3.6%, industry 21.1%, services 70.4% (2011 est.). Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel. Natural resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum. Exports: $251.7 billion (2013 est.): coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment. Imports: $245.8 billion (2013 est.): machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products. Major trading partners: China, US, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, India, Germany (2012).
Member of Commonwealth of Nations
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 10.47 million (2012); mobile cellular: 24.4 million (2011). Broadcast media: the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) runs multiple national and local radio networks and TV stations, as well as Australia Network, a TV service that broadcasts throughout the Asia-Pacific region and is the main public broadcaster; Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a second large public broadcaster, operates radio and TV networks broadcasting in multiple languages; several large national commercial TV networks, a large number of local commercial TV stations, and hundreds of commercial radio stations are accessible; cable and satellite systems are available (2008). Internet hosts: 17.081 million (2012). Internet users: 15.81 million (2011).
Transportation: Railways: total: 38,445 km. Highways: total: 823,217 km (2011). Waterways: 2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling river systems) (2006). Ports and terminals: Brisbane, Cairns, Dampier, Darwin, Fremantle, Gladstone, Geelong, Hay Point, Hobart, Jervis Bay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Adelaide, Port Dalrymple, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Port Lincoln, Port Walcott, Sydney. Airports: 480 (2013).
International disputes: In 2007, Australia and Timor-Leste signed agreed to a 50-year development zone and revenue sharing arrangement and deferred a maritime boundary; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to Antarctica; Australia's 2004 submission to Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) extends its continental margins over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its seabed roughly 30 percent beyond its claimed exclusive economic zone; all borders between Indonesia and Australia have been agreed upon bilaterally, but a 1997 treaty that would settle the last of their maritime and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary has yet to be ratified by Indonesia's legislature; Indonesian groups challenge Australia's claim to Ashmore Reef; Australia has closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing