Statistical information Australia 2001Australia

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Australia in the World
Australia in the World


Australia - Introduction 2001
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Background: Australia became a commonwealth of the British Empire in 1901. It was able to take advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop its agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. Long-term concerns include pollution particularly depletion of the ozone layer and management and conservation of coastal areas especially the Great Barrier Reef. A referendum to change Australia's status from a commonwealth headed by the British monarch to an independent republic was defeated in 1999.

Australia - Geography 2001
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Location: Oceania continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates: 27 00 S 133 00 E

Map referenceOceania

Total: 7,686,850 km²
Land: 7,617,930 km²
Water: 68,920 km²
Note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island
Comparative: slightly smaller than the contiguous 48 states of the US

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 25,760 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 24 NM
Continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Territorial sea: 12 NM

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

Terrain: mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast

Extremes lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m

Natural resources: bauxite coal iron ore copper tin silver uranium nickel tungsten mineral sands lead zinc diamonds natural gas petroleum
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 6%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 54%
Forests and woodland: 19%
Other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 21,070 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe droughts

Note: world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; regular tropical invigorating sea breeze known as 'the Doctor' occurs along the west coast in the summer

Australia - People 2001
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Population: 19,357,594 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 0.99% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Australian
Adjective: Australian

Ethnic groups: Caucasian 92% Asian 7% aboriginal and other 1%

Languages: English native languages

Religions: Anglican 26.1% Roman Catholic 26% other Christian 24.3% non-Christian 11%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 20.64% (male 2,045,892; female 1,948,949)
15-64 years: 66.86% (male 6,538,096; female 6,405,014)
65 years and over: 12.5% (male 1,059,107; female 1,360,536) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.99% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 12.86 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 7.18 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.19 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: soil erosion from overgrazing 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 fresh water resources
International agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male/female
Total population: 0.99 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 4.97 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 79.87 years
Male: 77.02 years
Female: 82.87 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.15% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 14,000 (1999 est.)
Deaths: 100 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 100%
Male: 100%
Female: 100% (1980 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Australia - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia
Conventional short form: Australia

Government type: democratic federal-state system recognizing the British monarch as sovereign

Capital: Canberra

Administrative divisions: 6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory* New South Wales Northern Territory* Queensland South Australia Tasmania Victoria Western Australia

Dependent areas: (6) Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island

Independence: 1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)

National holiday: Australia Day 26 January (1788)

Constitution: 9 July 1900 effective 1 January 1901

Legal system: based on English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch
Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Rev. Peter HOLLINGSWORTH (since 29 June 2001)
Head of government: Prime Minister John Winston HOWARD (since 11 March 1996); Deputy Prime Minister John ANDERSON (since NA)
Cabinet: Cabinet selected from among the members of Federal Parliament by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general for a three-year term
Note: government coalition - Liberal Party and National Party

Legislative branch
Elections: Senate - last held 3 October 1998 (next to be held by October 2001); House of Representatives - last held 3 October 1998 (next to be held by October 2001)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 35, Australian Labor Party 29, Australian Democratic Party 9, Green Party 1, One Nation Party 1, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 80, Australian Labor Party 67, independent 1

Judicial branch: High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed by the governor general)

Political parties and leaders: Australian Democratic Party [Meg LEES]; Australian Labor Party [Kim BEAZLEY]; Green Party [Bob BROWN]; Liberal Party [John Winston HOWARD]; National Party [John ANDERSON]; One Nation Party [Pauline HANSON]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Michael THAWLEY
In the us chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,036
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 797-3,000
In the us fax: [1] (202) 797-3,168
In the us consulates general: Atlanta, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Edward W. GNEHM, Jr.
From the us embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2,600
From the us mailing address: APO AP 96,549
From the us telephone: [61] (02) 6,214-5,600
From the us fax: [61] (02) 6,214-5,970
From the us consulates general: Sydney
From the us consulates: Melbourne and Perth

Flag descriptionflag of Australia: 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; the remaining half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small five-pointed star and four larger seven-pointed stars

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Australia - Economy 2001
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Economy overview: Australia has a prosperous Western-style capitalist economy with a per capita GDP at the level of the four dominant West European economies. Rich in natural resources Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products minerals metals and fossil fuels. Commodities account for 57% of the value of total exports so that a downturn in world commodity prices can have a big impact on the economy. The government is pushing for increased exports of manufactured goods but competition in international markets continues to be severe. While Australia has suffered from the low growth and high unemployment characterizing the OECD countries in the early 1990s and during the recent financial problems in East Asia the economy has expanded at a solid 4% annual growth pace in the last five years. Canberra's emphasis on reforms is a key factor behind the economy's resilience to the regional crisis and its stronger than expected growth rate. Growth in 2001 will depend on key international commodity prices the extent of recovery in nearby Asian economies and the strength of US and European markets.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.7% (2000 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 3%
Industry: 26%
Services: 71% (1999 est.)

Agriculture products: wheat barley sugarcane fruits; cattle sheep poultry

Industries: mining industrial and transportation equipment food processing chemicals steel

Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 9.5 million (December 1999)
By occupation services: 73%
By occupation industry: 22%
By occupation agriculture: 5% (1997 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 6.4% (2000)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 2%
Highest 10: 25.4% (1994)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $94 billion
Expenditures: $103 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 1.4% (2000 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $69 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: coal gold meat wool alumina iron ore wheat machinery and transport equipment
Partners: Japan 19% EU 14% ASEAN 12% US 9% South Korea NZ Taiwan Hong Kong China (1999)

Imports: $77 billion (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: machinery and transport equipment computers and office machines telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products
Partners: EU 24% US 22% Japan 14% ASEAN 13% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $220.6 billion (2000)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.7995 (January 2001) 1.7173 (2000) 1.5497 (1999) 1.5888 (1998) 1.3439 (1997) 1.2773 (1996)

Australia - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 191.727 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 89.93%
By source hydro: 8.36%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 1.71% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 178.306 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Australia - Communication 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 6.4 million (1998)

Telephone system
General assessment: excellent domestic and international service
Domestic: domestic satellite system; much use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile cellular telephones
International: submarine cables to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat (Indian and Pacific Ocean regions) (1998)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .au

Internet users: 7.77 million (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Australia - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $6.9 billion (FY98/99)
Percent of gdp: 1.9% (FY98/99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Australia - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 411 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 271
With paved runways over 3047 m: 10
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 12
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 118
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 122
With paved runways under 914 m: 9 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 140
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 17
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 112
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 11 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 271
Over 3047 m: 10
2438 to 3047 m: 12
15-24 to 2437 m: 118
914 to 1523 m: 122
Under 914 m: 9 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 140
15-24 to 2437 m: 17
914 to 1523 m: 112
Under 914 m: 11 (2000 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 2,500 km; petroleum products 500 km; natural gas 5,600 km

Total: 33,819 km (2,540 km electrified)
Broad gauge: 3,719 km 1.600-m gauge
Standard gauge: 15,422 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 14,506 km 1.067-m gauge
Dual gauge: 172 km NA gauges (1999)


Waterways: 8,368 km (mainly used by small shallow-draft craft)

Merchant marine
Total: 54 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,558,371 GRT/2,038,776 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 26, cargo 3, chemical tanker 5, container 1, liquefied gas 4, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 6 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Australia - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: territorial claim in Antarctica (Australian Antarctic Territory)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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