Countries of the World:
Resources about Australia including maps, facts about the land, people, history,
government, political conditions, and economy.
Economy of Australia
GDP (2009-2010 estimate): A$1.2 trillion (U.S. $1.1 trillion).
Inflation rate (year to March 2010): 2.9% per year.
Reserve Bank official interest rate (May 2010): 4.5%.
Trade: Exports ($176.7 billion, 2009 estimate)--coal, iron
ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and transport
equipment. Major markets--China, Japan, South Korea, India,
U.S. ($8.7 billion), and U.K. Imports ($180.5 billion, 2009
estimate)--machinery and transport equipment, computers and
office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude
oil and petroleum products. Major suppliers--China, United
States ($20.05 billion), Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.
Exchange rate (2010): U.S. $1 = A$1.11 (average for 2010 of
A$1 = U.S. $0.90).
Geography of Australia
Area: 7.7 million sq. km. (3 million sq. mi.); about the size
of the 48 contiguous United States.
Cities (2009): Capital--Canberra (pop. 351,000). Other cities-
-Sydney (4.5 million), Melbourne (3.9 million), Brisbane (2
million), Perth (1.6 million), Adelaide (1.2 million), Darwin
(124,000), Hobart (212,000).
Terrain: Varied, but generally low-lying.
Climate: Relatively dry and subject to drought, ranging from
temperate in the south to tropical in the far north.
Government of Australia
Type: Constitutional monarchy: democratic, federal-state
Constitution: Passed by the British Parliament on July 9,
Independence (federation): January 1, 1901.
Branches: Executive--Queen Elizabeth II (head of state,
represented by a governor general); the monarch appoints the
governor general on the advice of the prime minister.
Legislative--bicameral Parliament (76-member Senate, 150-
member House of Representatives). The governor general
appoints the prime minister (generally the leader of the
party which holds the majority in the House of
Representatives) and appoints ministers on the advice of the
prime minister. Judicial--independent judiciary.
Administrative subdivisions: Six states and two territories.
Political parties: Australian Labor, Liberal, the Greens,
the Nationals, and Family First.
Suffrage: Universal and compulsory 18 and over.
Central government budget (revenue): FY 2008-2009 A$298.9
billion (U.S. $269 billion); FY 2009-2010 A$294.2 billion
(U.S. $264.8 billion); FY 2010-2011 (estimate): $A321.8
billion (U.S. $290 billion).
Defense: A$25.7 billion (U.S. $23.13 billion) or approx. 2%
of GDP for FY 2010-2011.
Map of Australia
This Map of Australia shows the borders of the country, as
well as rivers, and cities including Canberra the capital of
Australia. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)
Official Name of Australia
The Official Name of Australia is the Commonwealth of
Australia. (Facts from the U.S. State Department)
People of Australia
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Australian(s).
Population (May 2010 est.): 22.3 million.
Annual population growth rate: 2.1%.
Religions (2006 census): Catholic 26%, Anglican 19%, other
Christian 19%, other non-Christian 1%, Buddhist 2.1%, Islam
1.7%, no religion 19%, and not stated 12%.
Education: Years compulsory--to age 16 in all states and
territories except New South Wales and the Northern Territory
where it is 15, and Western Australia where it is 17.
Health: Infant mortality rate--4.7/1,000. Life expectancy--
males 78.7 yrs., females 83.5 yrs.
Work force (10.8 million): Agriculture, fishing and forestry--
3.25%; mining--1.6%; manufacturing--9.1%; retail trade--10.7%;
public administration, defense, and safety--6.2%;
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