+61 is the dialing code for Australia.
When European colonizers first came to Australia in the 17th century, the country had been inhabited for 50,000 years by immigrant people from Southeast Asia. The British settlers, long mainly prisoners deported there, even into our days subjected the indigenous people, the Aborigines, to a brutal and degrading treatment. Today, Australia is a modern industrial and service society. Politically, the country has been a close ally to the United States since World War II.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Australia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Australia is a continent of its own that spans three time zones. This world’s sixth largest country has an area that is 17 times larger than Sweden’s. The longest distance from east to west is 380 km, from north to south 310 km.
Australia is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east (Coral and Tasman Sea) and the Indian Ocean to the west. In the north, the country is separated from Asia (Indonesia and East Timor) by Lake Timor, Lake Arafura and Torres strait. Australia has a number of islands in the area. Together with the surrounding island world, the country forms the continent Oceania.
The mainland has flat coasts with few islands. The largest is Tasmania in the south, which is a state of its own. Along the northeast coast, long coral reefs extend, forming the Great Barrier Reef. Geologically, Australia is the oldest continent in the world and consists mainly of a degraded bedrock shield without major differences in height. In the Southeast Snowy Mountains, there are a number of peaks that reach about 2,000 meters above sea level. They are parts of the Great Dividing Range mountain range that runs along the entire east coast and continues on Tasmania. The rivers are few and usually dehydrated part of the year. The only major river basin is the Murray-Darling basin in the southeast.
Nearly 40 percent of the country is in the tropics. The central parts are dominated by bush steppe. Just over a fifth of the area is desert / semi-desert. The lowland in the interior is partly below sea level. There is underground (artesian) water that is given to the livestock but does not suffice as drinking water. Australia’s largest lake, Lake Eyres in the state of South Australia, is 12 meters below sea level and has no outlet.
|Cultivated land||53.4 %|
|Land area||7741220 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||1.07 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||89.4 %|
|Death rate||7.14 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||84.74 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||79.7 years|
|Birth rate||12.15 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||4.37 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||235200 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per inhabitant||5591.7 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||62720 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||17 million tons|
|Internet users||89.6 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||138 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||717 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||6.2% of the workforce|
|GDP||65400 per resident|
|Primary occupations||3.6 %|
|Secondary profession||21.4 %|
|Tertiary professions||75 %|
Good cultivation land is mostly found only on the narrow coastal and river plains in the east, south, southwest and around Darwin in the north. There is also almost all forest, furthest north as rainforest. The coast to the north is swampy.
The geographical isolation has given Australia a distinctive plant and animal life. The plant life is characterized mainly by eucalyptus, which grows as trees in dense forests and on open savannas and as shrubs of varying height. In the animal kingdom, especially marsupials and sewers (kangaroo, koala, wombat, octopus and marsupial pigs) are noticed. Especially for Australia is the wild dog, dingo. There are hundreds of lizards and snakes as well as two crocodile species. Among the rich bird life is the ostrich-like emun, which can be two meters high.
Australia is known for its many hours of sunshine and, after Antarctica, is the most precipitous continent. Drought is characterized by climate in large parts of the country and recurring dry periods create problems for agriculture. In the wake of the drought, forest fires have become a major problem. In 2009, nearly 200 people in the state of Victoria were killed in severe fires, some of which were also taken. In 2019, the state of New South Wales was severely affected by fires that were unusually extensive and lasted for months in the southeastern parts of the country. More than 30 people lost their lives, thousands of houses were destroyed and wildlife was severely affected.
The rainfall varies considerably between different regions. In tropical northern Australia, there are fierce rains and hurricanes, so-called willy-willies. In the interior of the continent, there is a dry inland climate with high temperatures. The heat record is just over 53 degrees, measured in the state of Queensland, but just in Queensland was hit in early 2011 by extensive flooding following unusually heavy rains. On the coast to the south and west, the climate is similar to that of the Mediterranean. Snow occurs only on the southeastern mainland and on the island of Tasmania.
The Australian seasons are the reverse to Sweden.
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
7,682,300 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 7-10 hours
Capital with number of residents
Canberra 365,000 (Sources: Allcitypopulation.com)
Other major cities
Sydney 4.6 million, Melbourne 4.1 million, Brisbane 2.1 million, Perth 1.7 million, Adelaide 1.2 million (2011 estimate)
Mount Kosciusko (2228 m asl)
Average Precipitation / year
Canberra 630 mm 1
Average / day
Canberra 6 °C (July), 20 °C (Jan) 2
- Darwin 1847
2. Darwin 25 °C (July), 28 °C (Jan)Sources
In addition to the Australian continent and Tasmania, Australia also comprises a number of islands in the surrounding seas. The country also claims parts of Antarctica.
The Australian Antarctic Territory covers approximately 6 million square miles, or 42 percent of Antarctica. There is no resident population, but three permanent scientific research stations.
Heard Island and McDonald Islands, located in the Antarctic waters, are small, steep and almost completely covered with rocky islands with no population. They were transferred from the United Kingdom in 1947.
Coral Sea Islands was introduced to Australia in 1969 and consists of uninhabited sandbanks scattered in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland. A manned weather station is located on one of these, Willis Island.
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands consist of 27 small coral islands totaling 14 square miles in the Indian Ocean, 280 miles northwest of Perth. Of the approximately 550 residents, most are Malays. Only two of the islands are inhabited.
Just over 40 km east, 260 km northwest of the Australian mainland and 50 km south of Indonesia, lies Christmas Island (Christmas Island; a name is found in the Pacific) that belonged to Australia since 1958. It is a rocky island of about 137 square kilometers with a pleasant climate year round if. There are more than 2,000 residents, of whom the majority are Asians and one fifth have European origins. Two-thirds of the island is a national park in the form of tropical rainforest with a unique wildlife. Phosphate is broken on the island but attempts to invest in tourism have been made. Between 2008 and 2018 there was a refugee camp on the island; many boat refugees have tried to land here, as it is easier than reaching the Australian mainland (see also Modern History).
The Ashmore and Cartier Islands territory consists of some uninhabited coral islands in Lake Timor about 80 miles west of Darwin. Here is a rich bird and animal life (among other things there are sea turtles). Two oil fields lie in the waters off the islands. Indonesian action groups have questioned Australia’s supremacy over the islands since the country closed off parts of the waters surrounding those previously open to traditional Indonesian fishing.
Norfolk Island, north of New Zealand, is 140 miles east of Brisbane and is approximately 35 square miles. The island was used as a captive colony until 1855 and has been an Australian territory since 1913 but struggles for greater autonomy. In 2016, the island had 1,750 residents, mainly of European origin. Tourism has replaced agriculture as the main industry. Oil and gas deposits are believed to be in the waters around the island.