Australia Political Map

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Political Map: Defined
Political Maps are designed to show governmental boundaries of countries, states, and counties. This type of map is generally vivid in color to help identify boundaries more easily. When viewing a Physical Map, the locations of major cities as well as many minor cities are found. Also included on Physical Maps are significant bodies of water such as lakes, reservoirs and rivers.
Australia

page last updated on September 26, 2011


Introduction :: Australia
Background:
 
Aboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession of the east coast in the name of Great Britain (all of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia). Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990s, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s. Long-term concerns include ageing of the population, pressure on infrastructure, and environmental issues such as frequent droughts.
Geography :: Australia
Location:
 
Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
 
Geographic coordinates:
 
27 00 S, 133 00 E
 
Map references:
 
Oceania
 
Area:
 
total: 7,741,220 sq km
country comparison to the world: 6
land: 7,682,300 sq km
water: 58,920 sq km
note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island
 
Area - comparative:
 
slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
 
Land boundaries:
 
0 km
 
Coastline:
 
25,760 km
 
Maritime claims:
 
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
 
Climate:
 
generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
 
Terrain:
 
mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
 
Elevation extremes:
 
lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m
 
Natural resources:
 
bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
note: Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 29% of global coal exports
 
Land use:
 
arable land: 6.15% (includes about 27 million hectares of cultivated grassland)
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 93.81% (2005)
 
Irrigated land:
 
25,500 sq km (2008)
 
Total renewable water resources:
 
398 cu km (1995)
 
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
 
total: 24.06 cu km/yr (15%/10%/75%)
per capita: 1,193 cu m/yr (2000)
 
Natural hazards:
 
cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires
volcanism: volcanic activity occurs on the Heard and McDonald Islands
 
Environment - 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 freshwater resources
 
Environment - international agreements:
 
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
Geography - note:
 
world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the invigorating sea breeze known as the "Fremantle Doctor" affects the city of Perth on the west coast and is one of the most consistent winds in the world
People :: Australia
Population:
 
21,766,711 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
 
Age structure:
 
0-14 years: 18.3% (male 2,040,848/female 1,937,544)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 7,469,092/female 7,266,143)
65 years and over: 14% (male 1,398,576/female 1,654,508) (2011 est.)
 
Median age:
 
total: 37.7 years
male: 37 years
female: 38.4 years (2011 est.)
 
Population growth rate:
 
1.148% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
 
Birth rate:
 
12.33 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
 
Death rate:
 
6.88 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
 
Net migration rate:
 
6.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
 
Urbanization:
 
urban population: 89% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
Major cities - population:
 
Sydney 4.429 million; Melbourne 3.853 million; Brisbane 1.97 million; Perth 1.599 million; CANBERRA (capital) 384,000 (2009)
 
Sex ratio:
 
at birth: 1.055 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
Infant mortality rate:
 
total: 4.61 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 190
male: 4.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
Life expectancy at birth:
 
total population: 81.81 years
country comparison to the world: 9
male: 79.4 years
female: 84.35 years (2011 est.)
 
Total fertility rate:
 
1.78 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156
 
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
 
0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116
 
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
 
20,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
 
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
 
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
 
Drinking water source:
 
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
Sanitation facility access:
 
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
Nationality:
 
noun: Australian(s)
adjective: Australian
 
Ethnic groups:
 
white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
 
Religions:
 
Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census)
 
Languages:
 
English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census)
 
Literacy:
 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
 
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
 
total: 21 years
male: 20 years
female: 21 years (2008)
 
Education expenditures:
 
4.5% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 81

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