Australia - Oceania :: Australia
  • Introduction :: Australia
  • Background:

    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:
    Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
    Geographic coordinates:
    27 00 S, 133 00 E
    Map references:
    Oceania
    Area:
    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:
    slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    0 km
    Coastline:
    25,760 km
    Maritime claims:
    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:
    generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
    Terrain:
    mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 330 m
    elevation extremes: -15 m lowest point: Lake Eyre
    2228 highest point: Mount Kosciuszko
    Natural resources:
    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:
    agricultural land: 52.9% (2014 est.)
    arable land: 11.6% (2014 est.) / permanent crops: 0.09% (2014 est.) / permanent pasture: 88.4% (2014 est.)
    forest: 16.2% (2014 est.)
    other: 30.9% (2014 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    25,460 sq km (2014)
    Population distribution:
    population is primarily located on the periphery, with the highest concentration of people residing in the 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:

    cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires

    volcanism: volcanic activity on Heard and McDonald Islands

    Environment - current issues:
    soil erosion from overgrazing, deforestation, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; 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; limited natural freshwater resources; drought, overfishing, pollution, and invasive species are also problems
    Environment - international agreements:
    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:
    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; 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
  • People and Society :: Australia
  • Population:
    23,470,145 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Nationality:
    noun: Australian(s)
    adjective: Australian
    Ethnic groups:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    0-14 years: 17.75% (male 2,138,080 /female 2,027,583)
    15-24 years: 12.62% (male 1,520,528 /female 1,442,461)
    25-54 years: 41.35% (male 4,944,587 /female 4,760,752)
    55-64 years: 11.84% (male 1,379,681 /female 1,398,177)
    65 years and over: 16.44% (male 1,786,595 /female 2,071,701) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 51.1 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 28.5 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 22.6 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 4.4 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 38.8 years
    male: 38.1 years
    female: 39.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Population growth rate:
    1.01% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Birth rate:
    12 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Death rate:
    7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Net migration rate:
    5.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Population distribution:
    population is primarily located on the periphery, with the highest concentration of people residing in the 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:
    urban population: 86% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.43% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

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

    Major urban areas - population:
    4.792 million Sydney, 4.771 million Melbourne, 2.338 million Brisbane, 1.991 million Perth, 1.32 million Adelaide, 423,000 CANBERRA (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    28.7 years (2014 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    6 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 4.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 82.4 years (2018 est.)
    male: 79.9 years (2018 est.)
    female: 85 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Total fertility rate:
    1.77 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    66.9% (2015/16)

    note: percent of women aged 18-45

    Health expenditures:
    9.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Physicians density:
    3.5 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density:
    3.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Drinking water source:
    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 (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    26,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <200 (2017 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    29% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Education expenditures:
    5.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 20 years (2014)
    male: 20 years (2014)
    female: 21 years (2014)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 12.6% (2017 est.)
    male: 13.7% (2017 est.)
    female: 11.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
  • Government :: Australia
  • Country name:
    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:
    parliamentary democracy (Federal Parliament) under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm
    Capital:
    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

    etymolgy: 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"

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

    Administrative divisions:
    6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
    Dependent areas:
    Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island
    Independence:
    1 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies)
    National holiday:
    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:
    history: approved in a series of referenda 1898 through 1900, became law 9 July 1900, effective 1 January 1901 (2017)
    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 (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    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:
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor Gen. Sir Peter COSGROVE (since 28 March 2014)
    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:
    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 (150 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by majority preferential vote; members serve terms of up to 3 years)
    elections:
    Senate - last held on 2 July 2016 (next to be held in 2019)
    House of Representatives - last held on 2 July 2016; this election represented a rare double dissolution where all 226 seats in both the Senate and House of Representatives were up for reelection
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - Liberal/National Coalition 35.2%, ALP 29.8%, the Greens 8.7%, Pauline Hanson's One Nation 4.3%, Nick Xenophon Team 3.3%, other 18.7%; seats by party - Liberal/National Coalition 30, ALP 26, The Greens 9, Pauline Hanson's One Nation 4, Nick Xenophon Team 3, other 4; composition - men 48, women 28, percent of women 36.8% 

    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Liberal/National Coalition 42%, ALP 34.7%, The Greens 10.2%, Nick Xenophon Team 1.9%. Katter's Australian Party 0.5%, other 7.8%, independent 2.8%; seats by party - Liberal/National Coalition 76, ALP 69, The Greens 1, Katter's Australian Party 1, Nick Xenophon Team 1, independent 2; composition - men 107, women 43, percent of women 28.7%; note - total Federal Parliament percent of women 31.4%
    Judicial branch:
    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: subordinate courts: subordinate courts at the federal level: Federal Court; Federal Magistrates' Courts of Australia; Family Court; subordinate courts 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:
    Australian Greens Party [Richard DI NATALE]
    Australian Labor Party or ALP [Bill SHORTEN]
    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]
    Nick Xenophon Team [Nick XENOPHON]Pauline Hanson’s One Nation [Pauline HANSON]
    International organization participation:
    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:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph Benedict HOCKEY (since 28 January 2016)
    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:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires James CAROUSO (since September 2016)
    embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600
    mailing address: APO AP 96549
    telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600
    FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970
    consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
    Flag description:
    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):
    Commonwealth Star (seven-pointed Star of Federation), golden wattle tree; national colors: green, gold
    National anthem:
    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:

    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):
    $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):
    $1.38 trillion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    2.2% (2017 est.)
    2.6% (2016 est.)
    2.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $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:
    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:
    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:
    agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)
    industry: 25.3% (2017 est.)
    services: 71.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
    Industries:
    mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
    Industrial production growth rate:
    1.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Labor force:
    12.91 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 3.6%
    industry: 21.1%
    services: 75.3% (2009 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    5.6% (2017 est.)
    5.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Population below poverty line:
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
    highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    30.3 (2008)
    35.2 (1994)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Budget:
    revenues: 490 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 496.9 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    35.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -0.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Public debt:
    40.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    40.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Fiscal year:
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Central bank discount rate:
    3% (28 February 2013)
    4.35% (31 December 2010)

    note: this is the Reserve Bank of Australia's "cash rate target," or policy rate

    country comparison to the world: 108
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    5.24% (31 December 2017 est.)
    5.42% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Stock of narrow money:
    $277.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $243.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Stock of broad money:
    $277.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $243.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $2.384 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $2.097 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $1.187 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.289 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.366 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Current account balance:
    -$36.01 billion (2017 est.)
    -$41.45 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Exports:
    $231.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $191.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Exports - partners:
    China 33.5%, Japan 14.6%, South Korea 6.6%, India 5%, Hong Kong 4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    iron ore, coal, gold, natural gas, beef, aluminum ores and conc, wheat, meat (excluding beef), wool, alumina, alcohol
    Imports:
    $221 billion (2017 est.)
    $198.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Imports - commodities:
    motor vehicles, refined petroleum, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude petroleum, medicaments, goods vehicles, gold, computers
    Imports - partners:
    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:
    $66.58 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $55.07 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Debt - external:
    $1.714 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.547 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $700.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $617.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $509.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $441.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Exchange rates:
    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:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    243 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - consumption:
    229.4 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    65.56 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    72% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    17% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Crude oil - production:
    263,000 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Crude oil - exports:
    192,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Crude oil - imports:
    341,700 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    1.821 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    462,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    1.175 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    64,120 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    619,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Natural gas - production:
    105.2 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Natural gas - consumption:
    45.25 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Natural gas - exports:
    67.96 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Natural gas - imports:
    5.776 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    1.989 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    439.1 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
  • Communications :: Australia
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 8.46 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 27.553 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Telephone system:
    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; 5G technologies in preparation and anticipation for 2020 (2017)
    domestic: more subscribers to mobile services than there are people; 90% of all mobile device sales are now smartphones, growth in mobile traffic brisk; 36 per 100 fixed-line, 119 per 100 mobile-cellular (2017)
    international: country code - 61; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Southern Cross fiber-optic submarine cable provides links to NZ and the US; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat, 2 Globalstar, 5 other (2015)
    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 (2009)
    Internet country code:
    .au
    Internet users:
    total: 20,288,409 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 88.2% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 7.923 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
  • Transportation :: Australia
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 25 (2018)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 583 (2018)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 69,294,187 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,887,295,820 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    VH (2016)
    Airports:
    480 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Airports - with paved runways:
    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:
    total: 131 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 16 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 101 (2013)
    under 914 m: 14 (2013)
    Heliports:
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    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:
    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:
    total: 873,573 km (2015)
    urban: 145,928 km (2015)
    non-urban: 727,645 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Waterways:
    2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling River systems) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Merchant marine:
    total: 549 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 4, general cargo 83, oil tanker 10, other 452 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle, Geelong, Gladstone, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Adelaide, Port Kembla, Sydney
    container port(s) (TEUs): Melbourne (2,640,000), Sydney (2,363,780) (2016)
    LNG terminal(s) (export): Darwin, Karratha, Burrup, Curtis Island
    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 expenditures:
    2% of GDP (2016)
    1.98% of GDP (2015)
    1.8% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Military branches:
    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) (2016)
    Military service age and obligation:
    17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in most combat roles (2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: Australia
  • Disputes - international:
    in 2018, Australia and Timor-Leste signed a permanent maritime border treaty, scrapping a 2007 development zone and revenue sharing arrangement between the countriesAustralia asserts land and maritime claims to AntarcticaAustralia'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 EEZall 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 legislatureIndonesian 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:
    refugees (country of origin): 9,217 (Afghanistan), 6,128 (Iran) (2016)
    stateless persons: 52 (2017)
    Illicit drugs:
    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