Australia | Facts & Information

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

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Facts & Figures

  • Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

    Governor-General: David Hurley (2019)

    Prime Minister: Anthony Albanese (2022)

    Land area: 2,966,152 sq mi (7,682,300 sq km); total area: 2,988,901 sq mi (7,741,220 sq km)

    Population (2022 est.): 26,141,369 (growth rate: 1.25%); birth rate: 12.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.01/1000; life expectancy: 83.09

    Capital (2022 est.): Canberra, 467,000

    Largest cities: Sydney 5.057 million; Melbourne 5.151 million; Brisbane 2.472 million; Perth 2.093 million; Adelaide 1.356 million; CANBERRA (capital) 467,000 (2022)

    Monetary unit: Australian dollar

    Current government officials

    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: English 36.1%, Australian 33.5%, Irish 11.0%, Scottish 9.3%, Chinese 5.6%, Italian 4.6%, German 4.5%, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 2.8%, Indian 2.8%, Greek 1.8%, Dutch 1.6% (2016)

    Religions: Protestant 23.1% (Anglican 13.3%, Uniting Church 3.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.3%, Baptist 1.5%, Pentecostal 1.1%, Lutheran .7%, other Protestant .5%), Roman Catholic 22.6%, other Christian 4.2%, Muslim 2.6%, Buddhist 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3% (Eastern Orthodox 2.1%, Oriental Orthodox .2%), Hindu 1.9%, other 1.3%, none 30.1%, unspecified 9.6% (2016 est.)

    National Holiday: Australia Day, January 26

    Literacy rate: 99% (2011 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP $1,250,900,000,000 (2020 est.); per capita $48,700. Real growth rate: 1.84%. Inflation: 1.6%. Unemployment: 5.16%. Arable land: 4.03%. Agriculture: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry. Labor force: 12.568 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: #299.04 billion (2020 est.): coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment. Imports: $249.07 billion (2020 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 (2020).

    Member of Commonwealth of Nations

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 6.2 million (2020); mobile cellular: 27.453 million (2020). 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: 9,099,619 (2020). Internet users: 23,123,940 (2020).

    Transportation: Railways: total: 33,343 km. Highways: total: 145,928 km (2015). 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: 418 (2021).

    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

    Major sources and definitions

    Australian External Territories