Dialing code +61
ISO 2 code AU
ISO 3 code AUS
Capital Canberra
Main Language English
Currency Dollar (AUD)
GDP $800.5 billion 17th
Population 21,515,754 54th


Continent Oceania
Location Oceania continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Land 7,686,850 km2 6th
Terrain Mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Climate Generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
Natural Hazards Mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Note: World's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the invigorating sea breeze known as the "Fremantle Doctor" affects the city of Perth on the west coast and is one of the most consistent winds in the world

Neighbouring Countries


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 climate-change issues such as the depletion of the ozone layer and more frequent droughts and management and conservation of coastal areas especially the Great Barrier Reef.
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Life Expectancy 81.63 years 7th
Median Age 37.3 years 47th
Birth Rate 12.47 births/1,000 population 152nd
Death Rate 6.74 births/1,000 population 133rd
Sex Ratio 0.84 male(s)/female 69th
Literacy 99.0% 36th

21.5 million


Roadways 812972 km 8th
Railways 37855 km 7th
Airports 462 16th
Waterways 2000 km 43rd
Heliports 1 60th
Airports paved 11 10th


Currency Dollar (AUD)
GDP $800.5 billion 17th
GDP per capita (PPP) $38100 24th