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Australia - Oceania :: Australia Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Australia
  • Background field listing

    Prehistoric settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia at least 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 of the east coast in the name of Great Britain (all of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia). 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 Allied effort in World Wars I and II.

    In recent decades, Australia has become an internationally competitive, advanced market economy due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s and its location in one of the fastest growing regions of the world economy. Long-term concerns include an aging population, pressure on infrastructure, and environmental issues such as floods, droughts, and bushfires. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth, making it particularly vulnerable to the challenges of climate change. Australia is home to 10% of the world's biodiversity, and a great number of its flora and fauna exist nowhere else in the world.

  • Geography :: Australia
  • Location field listing
    Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    27 00 S, 133 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 7,741,220 sq km
    land: 7,682,300 sq km
    water: 58,920 sq km

    note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island

    country comparison to the world: 7
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    0 km
    Coastline field listing
    25,760 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    Climate field listing
    generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
    Terrain field listing
    mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 330 m
    lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
    highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,228 m
    Natural resources field listing
    alumina, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum; note - Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 29% of global coal exports
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 52.9% (2016 est.)
    arable land: 11.6% (2016 est.) / permanent crops: 0.09% (2016 est.) / permanent pasture: 88.4% (2016 est.)
    forest: 16.2% (2016 est.)
    other: 30.9% (2016 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    25,460 sq km (2014)
    Population distribution field listing
    population is primarily located on the periphery, with the highest concentration of people residing in the east and southeast; a secondary population center is located in and around Perth in the west; of the States and Territories, New South Wales has, by far, the largest population; the interior, or "outback", has a very sparse population
    Natural hazards field listing

    cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires

    volcanism: volcanic activity on Heard and McDonald Islands

    Environment - current issues field listing
    soil erosion from overgrazing, deforestation, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; limited natural freshwater resources; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; drought, desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; disruption of the fragile ecosystem has resulted in significant floral extinctions; the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast, the largest coral reef in the world, is threatened by increased shipping and its popularity as a tourist site; overfishing, pollution, and invasive species are also problems
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    note 1: world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; the largest country in Oceania, the largest country entirely in the Southern Hemisphere, and the largest country without land borders; the only continent without glaciers; 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

    note 2: the Great Dividing Range that runs along eastern Australia is that continent’s longest mountain range and the third-longest land-based range in the world; the term "Great Dividing Range" refers to the fact that the mountains form a watershed crest from which all of the rivers of eastern Australia flow – east, west, north, and south
  • People and Society :: Australia
  • Population field listing
    25,466,459 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Australian(s)
    adjective: Australian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    English 25.9%, Australian 25.4%, Irish 7.5%, Scottish 6.4%, Italian 3.3%, German 3.2%, Chinese 3.1%, Indian 1.4%, Greek 1.4%, Dutch 1.2%, other 15.8% (includes Australian aboriginal .5%), unspecified 5.4% (2011 est.)

    note: data represent self-identified ancestry, over a third of respondents reported two ancestries

    Languages field listing
    English 72.7%, Mandarin 2.5%, Arabic 1.4%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.2%, Italian 1.2%, Greek 1%, other 14.8%, unspecified 6.5% (2016 est.)

    note: data represent language spoken at home

    Religions field listing
    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.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 18.72% (male 2,457,418/female 2,309,706)
    15-24 years: 12.89% (male 1,710,253/female 1,572,794)
    25-54 years: 41.15% (male 5,224,840/female 5,255,041)
    55-64 years: 11.35% (male 1,395,844/female 1,495,806)
    65 years and over: 15.88% (male 1,866,761/female 2,177,996) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 55.1
    youth dependency ratio: 29.9
    elderly dependency ratio: 25.1
    potential support ratio: 4 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 37.5 years
    male: 36.5 years
    female: 38.5 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.4% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Birth rate field listing
    12.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Death rate field listing
    6.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Net migration rate field listing
    8.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Population distribution field listing
    population is primarily located on the periphery, with the highest concentration of people residing in the east and southeast; a secondary population center is located in and around Perth in the west; of the States and Territories, New South Wales has, by far, the largest population; the interior, or "outback", has a very sparse population
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 86.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.43% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

    note: data include Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island

    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    4.968 million Melbourne, 4.926 million Sydney, 2.406 million Brisbane, 2.042 million Perth, 1.336 million Adelaide, 457,000 CANBERRA (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    28.7 years (2014 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    6 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 82.7 years
    male: 80.5 years
    female: 85 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.74 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    66.9% (2015/16)

    note: percent of women aged 18-45

    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    9.2% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    3.68 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    3.8 beds/1,000 population (2016)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: total: 100% of population
    unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.1% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    29,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <100 (201 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    29% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Education expenditures field listing
    5.3% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 21 years
    male: 20 years
    female: 21 years (2018)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 11.8%
    male: 112.8%
    female: 10.7% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
  • Government :: Australia
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia
    conventional short form: Australia
    etymology: the name Australia derives from the Latin "australis" meaning "southern"; the Australian landmass was long referred to as "Terra Australis" or the Southern Land
    Government type field listing
    federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
    Capital field listing
    name: Canberra
    geographic coordinates: 35 16 S, 149 08 E
    time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends first Sunday in April

    note: Australia has four time zones, including Lord Howe Island (UTC+10:30)

    the name is claimed to derive from either Kambera or Camberry, which are names corrupted from the original native designation for the area "Nganbra" or "Nganbira"

    Administrative divisions field listing
    6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
    Dependent areas field listing
    Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island
    Independence field listing
    1 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies)
    National holiday field listing
    Australia Day (commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet of Australian settlers), 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorates the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)
    Constitution field listing
    history: approved in a series of referenda from 1898 through 1900 and became law 9 July 1900, effective 1 January 1901
    amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires approval of a referendum bill by absolute majority vote in both houses of Parliament, approval in a referendum by a majority of voters in at least four states and in the territories, and Royal Assent; proposals that would reduce a state’s representation in either house or change a state’s boundaries require that state’s approval prior to Royal Assent; amended several times, last in 1977
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General David HURLEY (since 1 July 2019)
    head of government: Prime Minister Scott MORRISON (since 24 August 2018)
    cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister from among members of Parliament and sworn in by the governor general
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor general
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Federal Parliament consists of:
    Senate (76 seats; 12 members from each of the 6 states and 2 each from the 2 mainland territories; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of state membership renewed every 3 years and territory membership renewed every 3 years)
    House of Representatives (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by majority preferential vote; members serve terms of up to 3 years)
    Senate - last held on 18 May 2019 (next to be held in 2022)
    House of Representatives - last held on 18 May 2019 (next to be held in 2022)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - Liberal/National coalition 37.99%, ALP 28.79%, The Greens 10.19%, One Nation 5.4%, Centre Alliance .19%, Lambie Network .21%, other 17.23%; seats by party - Liberal/National coalition 35, ALP 26, The Greens 9, One Nation 2, Centre Alliance 2, Lambie Network 1, independents 1
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Liberal/National coalition 41.4%, ALP 33.3%, The Greens 10.4%, Katter's Australian Party .49%, Centre Alliance .33%, independents 3.37%, other 10.63%; seats by party - Liberal/National Coalition 77, ALP 68, The Greens 1, Katter's Australian Party 1, Centre Alliance 1, independent 3
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: High Court of Australia (consists of 7 justices, including the chief justice); note - each of the 6 states, 2 territories, and Norfolk Island has a Supreme Court; the High Court is the final appellate court beyond the state and territory supreme courts
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general in council for life with mandatory retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: at the federal level: Federal Court; Federal Magistrates' Courts of Australia; Family Court; at the state and territory level: Local Court - New South Wales; Magistrates' Courts – Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory; District Courts – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia; County Court – Victoria; Family Court – Western Australia; Court of Petty Sessions – Norfolk Island
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Australian Greens Party [Adam BANDT]
    Australian Labor Party or ALP [Anthony ALBANESE]
    Country Liberal Party or CLP [Gary HIGGINS]
    Liberal National Party of Queensland or LNP [Deborah FRECKLINGTON]
    Liberal Party of Australia [Scott MORRISON]
    The Nationals [Michael MCCORMACK]
    Centre Alliance [Nick XENOPHON]
    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation [Pauline HANSON]
    International organization participation field listing
    ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF, SAARC (observer), SICA (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arthur SINODINOS (since 6 February 2020)
    chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000
    FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arthur B. CULVAHOUSE (since 19 February 2019)
    telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600
    embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600
    mailing address: APO AP 96549
    FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970
    consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
    Flag description field listing
    blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and a large seven-pointed star in the lower hoist-side quadrant known as the Commonwealth or Federation Star, representing the federation of the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia's internal and external territories; on the fly half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small, five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars
    National symbol(s) field listing
    Commonwealth Star (seven-pointed Star of Federation), golden wattle tree (Acacia pycnantha Benth), kangaroo, emu; national colors: green, gold
    National anthem field listing
    name: Advance Australia Fair
    lyrics/music: Peter Dodds McCORMICK

    note: adopted 1984; although originally written in the late 19th century, the anthem was not used for all official occasions until 1984; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the Queen" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

  • Economy :: Australia
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Australia is an open market with minimal restrictions on imports of goods and services. The process of opening up has increased productivity, stimulated growth, and made the economy more flexible and dynamic. Australia plays an active role in the WTO, APEC, the G20, and other trade forums. Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) with China entered into force in 2015, adding to existing FTAs with the Republic of Korea, Japan, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the US, and a regional FTA with ASEAN and New Zealand. Australia continues to negotiate bilateral agreements with Indonesia, as well as larger agreements with its Pacific neighbors and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and an Asia-wide Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that includes the 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and India.

    Australia is a significant exporter of natural resources, energy, and food. Australia's abundant and diverse natural resources attract high levels of foreign investment and include extensive reserves of coal, iron, copper, gold, natural gas, uranium, and renewable energy sources. A series of major investments, such as the US$40 billion Gorgon Liquid Natural Gas Project, will significantly expand the resources sector.

    For nearly two decades up till 2017, Australia had benefited from a dramatic surge in its terms of trade. As export prices increased faster than import prices, the economy experienced continuous growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system. Australia entered 2018 facing a range of growth constraints, principally driven by the sharp fall in global prices of key export commodities. Demand for resources and energy from Asia and especially China is growing at a slower pace and sharp drops in export prices have impacted growth.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $1.248 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.221 trillion (2016 est.)
    $1.19 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 19
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $1.38 trillion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.84% (2019 est.)
    2.77% (2018 est.)
    2.45% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $50,400 (2017 est.)
    $50,100 (2016 est.)
    $49,600 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 29
    Gross national saving field listing
    21% of GDP (2017 est.)
    20.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    21.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 56.9% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 18.4% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 21.5% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -21% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)
    industry: 25.3% (2017 est.)
    services: 71.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
    Industries field listing
    mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    1.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Labor force field listing
    12.568 million (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 3.6%
    industry: 21.1%
    services: 75.3% (2009 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    5.16% (2019 est.)
    5.29% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Population below poverty line field listing
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 490 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 496.9 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    35.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -0.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Public debt field listing
    40.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    40.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Current account balance field listing
    $8.146 billion (2019 est.)
    -$29.777 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Exports field listing
    $231.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $191.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 33.5%, Japan 14.6%, South Korea 6.6%, India 5%, Hong Kong 4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    iron ore, coal, gold, natural gas, beef, aluminum ores and conc, wheat, meat (excluding beef), wool, alumina, alcohol
    Imports field listing
    $221 billion (2017 est.)
    $198.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Imports - commodities field listing
    motor vehicles, refined petroleum, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude petroleum, medicaments, goods vehicles, gold, computers
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 22.9%, US 10.8%, Japan 7.5%, Thailand 5.1%, Germany 4.9%, South Korea 4.5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $66.58 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $55.07 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Debt - external field listing
    $1.714 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.547 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Exchange rates field listing
    Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
    1.311 (2017 est.)
    1.3442 (2016 est.)
    1.3442 (2015 est.)
    1.3291 (2014 est.)
    1.1094 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Australia
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    243 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    229.4 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    65.56 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    72% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    17% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Crude oil - production field listing
    284,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    192,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    341,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    1.821 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    462,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    1.175 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    64,120 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    619,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Natural gas - production field listing
    105.2 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    45.25 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    67.96 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    5.776 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    1.989 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    439.1 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
  • Communications :: Australia
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 7,792,701
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31.03 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 27,780,491
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110.62 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: excellent domestic and international service; domestic satellite system; significant use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile telephones; continue to enhance 4G networks while migrating to 5G technologies; 5G connections are predicted to account for around 50 - 60% of total connections by 2025 (2020)
    domestic: 31 per 100 fixed-line, 111 per 100 mobile-cellular; more subscribers to mobile services than there are people; 90% of all mobile device sales are now smartphones, growth in mobile traffic brisk (2019)
    international: country code - 61; landing points for more than 20 submarine cables including: the SeaMeWe-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the INDIGO-Central, INDIGO West and ASC, North West Cable System, Australia-Papua New Guinea cable, CSCS, PPC-1, Gondwana-1, SCCN, Hawaiki, TGA, Basslink, Bass Strait-1, Bass Strait-2, JGA-S, with links to other Australian cities, New Zealand and many countries in southeast Asia, US and Europe; the H2 Cable, AJC, Telstra Endeavor, Southern Cross NEXT with links to Japan, Hong Kong, and other Pacific Ocean countries as well as the US; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat, 2 Globalstar, 5 other (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    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
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 21,419,302
    percent of population: 86.55% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 7.64 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
  • Transportation :: Australia
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 25 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 583
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 75,667,645 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,027,640,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    VH (2016)
    Airports field listing
    418 (2020)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 349 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 11 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 14 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 155 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 155 (2017)
    under 914 m: 14 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 131 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 16 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 101 (2013)
    under 914 m: 14 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    637 km condensate/gas, 30054 km gas, 240 km liquid petroleum gas, 3609 km oil, 110 km oil/gas/water, 72 km refined products (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 33,343 km (2015)
    standard gauge: 17,446 km 1.435-m gauge (650 km electrified) (2015)
    narrow gauge: 12,318 km 1.067-m gauge (2,075.5 km electrified) (2015)
    broad gauge: 3,247 km 1.600-m gauge (372 km electrified) (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Roadways field listing
    total: 873,573 km (2015)
    urban: 145,928 km (2015)
    non-urban: 727,645 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Waterways field listing
    2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling River systems) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 579
    by type: bulk carrier 4general cargo 80, oil tanker 7, other 488 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle, Geelong, Gladstone, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Adelaide, Port Kembla, Sydney
    container port(s) (TEUs): Melbourne (2,806,436), Sydney (2,530,122) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Australia Pacific, Barrow Island, Burrup (Pluto), Curtis Island, Darwin, Karratha, Bladin Point (Ichthys), Gladstone, Prelude (offshore FLNG), Wheatstone
    dry bulk cargo port(s): Dampier (iron ore), Dalrymple Bay (coal), Hay Point (coal), Port Hedland (iron ore), Port Walcott (iron ore)
  • Military and Security :: Australia
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army (includes Special Operations Command), Royal Australian Navy (includes Naval Aviation Force), Royal Australian Air Force, Joint Operations Command (JOC) (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.9% of GDP (2019)
    1.9% of GDP (2018)
    2% of GDP (2017)
    2.1% of GDP (2016)
    2% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Australian Defense Force has approximately 60,000 total active troops (30,800 Army; 14,700 Navy; 14,300 Air Force) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Australian military's inventory includes a mix of domestically-produced and imported Western (mostly US-origin, particularly aircraft) weapons systems; since 2015, the US is the largest supplier of arms, followed by Spain; the Australian defense industry produces a variety of land and sea weapons platforms; the defense industry also participates in joint development and production ventures with other Western countries, including the US and Canada (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    200 Afghanistan (NATO); 750 Middle East (June 2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in most combat roles (2018)
  • Terrorism :: Australia
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (2020)

    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

  • Transnational Issues :: Australia
  • Disputes - international field listing

    In 2007, Australia and Timor-Leste 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 the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf extends its continental margins over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its seabed roughly 30 percent beyond its claimed EEZ; all borders between Indonesia and Australia have been agreed upon bilaterally, but a 1997 treaty that would settle the last of their maritime and EEZ boundary has yet to be ratified by Indonesia's legislature; Indonesian groups challenge Australia's claim to Ashmore Reef; Australia closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 13,122 (Iraq), 12,714 (Afghanistan), 12,537 (Iran), 5,578 (Pakistan) (2019)
    stateless persons: 132 (2018)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major consumer of cocaine and amphetamines