Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



Prehistoric settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia at least 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. All of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829. Independence was achieved in 1901.



total: 7,741,220 sq km

land: 7,682,300 sq km

water: 58,920 sq km


generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north

Natural resources

alumina, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, opals, natural gas, petroleum; note - Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 29% of global coal exports; as well, Australia is by far the world's largest supplier of opals

People and Society


26,141,369 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

English 33%, Australian 29.9%, Irish 9.5%, Scottish 8.6%, Chinese 5.5%, Italian 4.4%, German 4%, Indian 3.1%, Australian Aboriginal 2.9%, Greek 1.7%, unspecified 4.7%

(2021 est.)


English 72%, Mandarin 2.7%, Arabic 1.4%, Vietnamese 1.3%, Cantonese 1.2%, other 15.7%, unspecified 5.7% (2021 est.)


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 0.5%), Roman Catholic 22.6%, other Christian 4.2%, Muslim 2.6%, Buddhist 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3% (Eastern Orthodox 2.1%, Oriental Orthodox 0.2%), Hindu 1.9%, other 1.3%, none 30.1%, unspecified 9.6% (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.25% (2022 est.)


Government type

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm


name: Canberra

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General David HURLEY (since 1 July 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Anthony ALBANESE (since 23 May 2022)

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 (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by majority preferential vote; members serve terms of up to 3 years)


Economic overview

Asian and global economic leader and partner for 3 decades; strong financial sector and highly traded domestic currency support best credit ratings; aging workforce; export-led model; reduced consumer spending offset by government and business; energy investor

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1,250,900,000,000 (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$48,700 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, wheat, barley, milk, rapeseed, beef, cotton, grapes, poultry, potatoes


mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel


$299.04 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

China 39%, Japan 15%, South Korea 7%, India 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

iron ore, coal, natural gas, gold, aluminum oxide (2019)


$249.07 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 25%, United States 12%, Japan 7%, Germany 5%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, crude petroleum, broadcasting equipment, delivery trucks (2019)

Exchange rates

Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -

Page last updated: Friday, December 16, 2022