Fast Facts Australia - International Living Countries

Fast Facts Australia

Location: Australia is a large island surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.

Area: 2,988,902 square miles (7,741,220 square kilometers). Slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states.

Population: 22,992,654

Capital: Canberra

Geography: Australia consists of six distinct landform divisions: The Eastern Highlands (where the most fertile land can be found), Eastern alluvial Plains and Lowlands, South Australian Highlands, Western Plateau, Central Deserts, and Northern Plateau and Basins.

Climate: The vast majority of Australia is arid or semi-arid. Temperate climates can be found in the south-east and south-west corners, and the northern region of the country has a tropical climate.

Currency: The legal currency of Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). $1 = 1.32 AUD (January 2017).

Government: Australia operates under a Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy. It is also part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II (since 6 February 1952); the Queen is represented by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove (since 28 March 2014). The Governor-General is appointed by the reigning monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister. There is no specific term, but it usually lasts five years.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (since 15 September 2015). The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party or largest party in a coalition of parties in the House of Representatives.

Language: English is the official language of Australia, with Mandarin, Arabic, Italian, Greek, Cantonese, and Vietnamese also spoken throughout the country.

Religions: Forms of Protestantism make up 30.1% of the religions practiced in Australia (Anglican 17.1%, Uniting Church 5.0%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.8%, Baptist, 1.6%, Lutheran 1.2%, Pentecostal 1.1%, other Protestant 1.3%), while 25.3% of people identify as some form of Catholic (Roman Catholic 25.1%, other Catholic 0.2%). The remainder is made up of other Christian (2.9%), Orthodox (2.8%), Buddhist (2.5%), Muslim (2.2%), Hindu (1.3%), and other religions (1.3%) Another 22.3% identify as having no religion, and 9.3% of people are unspecified.

Time Zone: Australia spans over five standard time zones, many of them by half- and quarter-hours, and not all of them use daylight saving time. The standard time zone span runs from UTC+8 to UTC+11 (11 to 14 hours ahead of Washington, D.C. during Standard Time).

International Country Code: +61

Internet Country Code: .au

Life Expectancy at Birth: 82.2 years (Male = 79.8, Female = 84.8)

Exports: $184.3 billion

Imports: $203.1 billion

Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity): $1.189 trillion

GDP per Capita: $48,800

Inflation Rate: 1.4%