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The multicultural background and diverse ecosystems make Australia special, unique and beautiful. It is a great country to settle in and is viewed by many as the “Land of Opportunity” for people of all races.
Australia is a stable, democratic society with a skilled workforce and has grown at an average annual rate of 3.6% for the past 15 years. This sustained growth places Australia in the top ranks of developed countries in terms of economic growth. With a population of 25 million, Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent and is the sixth largest country in the world in terms of land area.
Australia, with its abundant physical resources, has enjoyed a high standard of living since the nineteenth century. It is ranked 2nd on the United Nations’ Human Development index, which measures education, life expectancy and standard of living. Therefore, immigration is an important feature of Australian society. Australia is one of the world’s major immigration nations. Since 1945, over 7.5 million people from 200 countries have come to Australia as new settlers. People born overseas make up almost 1/3 of the total population. Migrants have made a major contribution to shaping modern Australia.
Australia's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, are believed to have migrated from some unknown point in Asia to Australia between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. While Captain James Cook is credited with Australia's European discovery in 1770, a Portuguese possibly first sighted the country, while the Dutch are known to have explored the coastal regions in the 1640s. The first European settlement of Australia was in January 1788, when the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip. Originally established as a penal colony, by the 1830s the number of free settlers was increasing. Transportation of convicts to the eastern colonies was abolished in 1852 and to the western colonies in 1868.
Australian culture is as broad and varied as the country's landscape. Australia is multicultural and multiracial, and this is reflected in the country's food, lifestyle and cultural practices and experience. Australia has an important heritage from its indigenous people, which plays a defining role in the cultural landscape. This diversity of influences creates a cultural environment in Australia that is lively, energised, innovative and outward looking.
As of December 2019, Australia's population is roughly 25.5 million people. The most populous states are New South Wales and Victoria, with their respective capitals, Sydney and Melbourne, the largest cities in Australia. Australia's population is concentrated along the coastal region of Australia from Adelaide to Cairns, with a small concentration around Perth, Western Australia. The centre of Australia is sparsely populated.
The majority of Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year. The northern states of Australia are typically warm all the time, with the southern states experiencing cool winters but rarely sub-zero temperatures. Snow falls on the higher mountains during the winter months, enabling skiing in southern New South Wales and Victorian ski resorts, as well as the smaller resorts in Australia's island state, Tasmania.
Australia is an island continent and the world's sixth largest country (7,682,300 sq km). Lying between the Indian and Pacific oceans, the country is approximately 4,000 km from east to west and 3,200 km from north to south, with a coastline 36,735 km long. Canberra is Australia's capital city. With a population of approximately 380,000 people and situated in the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra is roughly halfway between the two largest cities Melbourne and Sydney. Australia has 19 listed World Heritage properties. Australia is also famous for its landmark buildings such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, its ancient geology, outback landscape as well as the NSW Alpine Country.
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|Population||2019 estimate 25,307,200|
|Currency||Australian dollar (AUD)|
|Time zone||UTC+8; +9.5; +10|
|ISO 3166 code||AU|