Australia - AU - AUS - AUS - Australia and Oceania

Last updated: April 16, 2024
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Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Caroline KENNEDY (since 25 July 2022)

embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Australian Capital Territory 2600

mailing address: 7800 Canberra Place, Washington DC  20512-7800

telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600

FAX: [61] (02) 9373-9184

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.43% (male 2,515,636/female 2,359,859)

15-64 years: 64.89% (male 8,602,204/female 8,568,004)

65 years and over: 16.69% (2023 est.) (male 2,034,383/female 2,381,080)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Australia. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

27 00 S, 133 00 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)


368 (2024)

Natural hazards

cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires

volcanism: volcanic activity on Heard and McDonald Islands

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
Area comparison map

slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states

Military service age and obligation

17 years of age (with parental consent) for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription (abolished 1973) (2023)

note 1: foreign nationals who are permanent residents, particularly New Zealanders, or those who have applied for citizenship or overseas candidates who have appropriate experience and qualifications from an overseas military can apply to join the ADF 

note 2: women have served in all roles, including combat arms, since 2013; in 2022, they comprised about 20% of the military


Aboriginal Australians arrived on the continent at least 60,000 years ago and developed complex hunter-gatherer societies and oral histories. Dutch navigators led by Abel TASMAN were the first Europeans to land in Australia in 1606, and they mapped the western and northern coasts. They named the continent New Holland but made no attempts to permanently settle it. In 1770, English captain James COOK sailed to the east coast of Australia, named it New South Wales, and claimed it for Great Britain. In 1788 and 1825 respectively, Great Britain established New South Wales and then Tasmania as penal colonies. Great Britain and Ireland sent more than 150,000 convicts to Australia before ending the practice in 1868. As Europeans began settling areas away from the coasts, they came into more direct contact with Aboriginal Australians. Europeans also cleared land for agriculture, impacting Aboriginal Australians’ ways of life. These issues, along with disease and a policy in the 1900s that forcefully removed Aboriginal children from their parents, reduced the Aboriginal Australian population from more than 700,000 pre-European contact to a low of 74,000 in 1933.

Four additional colonies were established in Australia in the mid-1800s: Western Australia (1829), South Australia (1836), Victoria (1851), and Queensland (1859). Gold rushes beginning in the 1850s brought thousands of new immigrants to New South Wales and Victoria, helping to reorient Australia away from its penal colony roots. In the second half of the 1800s, the colonies were all gradually granted self-government, and in 1901, they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia contributed more than 400,000 troops to Allied efforts during World War I, and Australian troops played a large role in the defeat of Japanese troops in the Pacific in World War II. Australia severed most constitutional links with the UK in 1942 but remained part of the British Commonwealth. Australia’s post-war economy boomed and by the 1970s, racial policies that prevented most non-Whites from immigrating to Australia were removed, greatly increasing Asian immigration to the country. In recent decades, Australia has become an internationally competitive, advanced market economy due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s and its proximity to East and Southeast Asia. In 2021, Australia, the UK, and the US announced the AUKUS enhanced trilateral security partnership to maintain and expand the three countries’ edge in military capabilities and critical technologies.

In the early 2000s, Australian politics became unstable with frequent attempts to oust party leaders, including five changes of prime minister between 2010 and 2018. As a result, both major parties instituted rules to make it harder to remove a party leader.

Environment - current issues

soil erosion from overgrazing, deforestation, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; limited natural freshwater resources; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; drought, desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; disruption of the fragile ecosystem has resulted in significant floral extinctions; 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; overfishing, pollution, and invasive species are also problems

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 26.6% (2018 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Exports - commodities

iron ore, coal, natural gas, gold, wheat (2021)

Exports - partners

China 40%, Japan 14%, South Korea 9%, India 6%, Taiwan 4% (2021)

Administrative divisions

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

Agricultural products

sugar cane, wheat, barley, milk, rapeseed, beef, cotton, grapes, poultry, potatoes

Military and security forces

Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force (2024)

note 1: the Army includes a Special Operations Command, while the Navy includes a Naval Aviation Force

note 2: the Australian Federal Police is an independent agency of the Attorney-General’s Department; it, along with state and territorial police forces are responsible for internal security; the Australian Border Force is under the Department of Home Affairs


revenues: $479.33 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $532.579 billion (2019 est.)


name: Canberra

geographic coordinates: 35 16 S, 149 08 E

time difference: UTC+10 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends first Sunday in April

time zone note: Australia has four time zones, including Lord Howe Island (UTC+10:30)

etymology: the name is claimed to derive from either Kambera or Camberry, which are names corrupted from the original native designation for the area "Nganbra" or "Nganbira"

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, delivery trucks, broadcasting equipment, computers and gold (2021)


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


25,760 km


history: approved in a series of referenda from 1898 through 1900 and became law 9 July 1900, effective 1 January 1901

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires approval of a referendum bill by absolute majority vote in both houses of Parliament, approval in a referendum by a majority of voters in at least four states and in the territories, and Royal Assent; proposals that would reduce a state’s representation in either house or change a state’s boundaries require that state’s approval prior to Royal Assent; amended several times, last in 1977

Dependent areas

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

Exchange rates

Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1.442 (2022 est.)
1.331 (2021 est.)
1.453 (2020 est.)
1.439 (2019 est.)
1.338 (2018 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: King CHARLES III (since 8 September 2022); represented by Governor General David HURLEY (since 1 July 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Anthony ALBANESE (since 23 May 2022)

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister from among members of Parliament and sworn in by the governor general

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor general

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Flag description

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 known as the Commonwealth or Federation Star, representing the federation of the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia's internal and external territories; on the fly half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small, five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars

Illicit drugs

 amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and cannabis dominate the domestic illicit drug market and shown potential for expansion, with ATS accounting for the preponderance of detected imports; domestic heroin market is small, but also shown some growth; as of 2020, Malaysia was the primary embarkation point for heroin and ATS imports other than MDMA (ecstasy) for which South Korea was the primary embarkation point although MDMA is increasingly being produced domestically with number of detected labs nearly doubled.  The US is the principal embarkation point for imported cannabis; Tasmania is one of the world's major suppliers of licit opiate products; government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; major consumer of cocaine and amphetamines


1 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies)


mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel

Judicial branch

highest court(s): High Court of Australia (consists of 7 justices, including the chief justice); note - each of the 6 states, 2 territories, and Norfolk Island has a Supreme Court; the High Court is the final appellate court beyond the state and territory supreme courts

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general in council for life with mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: subordinate courts: at the federal level: Federal Court; Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia;  at the state and territory level: Local Court - New South Wales; Magistrates' Courts – Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory; District Courts – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia; County Court – Victoria; Family Court – Western Australia; Court of Petty Sessions – Norfolk Island



Land boundaries

total: 0 km

Land use

agricultural land: 46.65% (2018 est.)

arable land: 4.03% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.04% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 42.58% (2018 est.)

forest: 17.42% (2018 est.)

other: 33.42% (2018 est.)

Legal system

common law system based on the English model

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Federal Parliament consists of:
Senate (76 seats; 12 members from each of the 6 states and 2 each from the 2 mainland territories; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of state membership renewed every 3 years and territory membership renewed every 3 years)
House of Representatives (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by majority preferential vote; members serve terms of up to 3 years)

Senate - last held on 21 May 2022 (next to be held in May 2025)
House of Representatives - last held on 21 May 2022 (next to be held in May 2025)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party/coalition - Liberal/National Coalition 40.7%, ALP 34.2%, Greens 14.5%, Pauline Hansen's One Nation 2.6%, Jacqui Lambee Network 2.6%, United Australia Party 1.3%, independent 3.9%; seats by party/coalition - Liberal/National Coalition 31, ALP 26, Australian Greens 11, Pauline Hansen's One Nation 2, Jacqui Lambee Network 2, United Australia Party 1, independent 3; composition as of April 2024 - 33 men, 42 women; percentage women 56%

House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - ALP 50.9%, Coalition 36.4%, 7.9%, 2.6%, others less than 1%; seats by party/coalition - ALP 77, Coalition 55, independent 12, Greens 4, Katter's 1, Center Alliance 1, vacant 1; composition as of April 2024 - 92 men, 59 women; percentage women 39.1%; note - total Federal Parliament percentage women 44.7%

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

International organization participation

ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF, SAARC (observer), Quad, SICA (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

National holiday

Australia Day (commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet of Australian settlers), 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorates the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)


noun: Australian(s)

adjective: Australian

Natural resources

alumina, coal, iron ore, copper, lithium, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, opals, natural gas, petroleum

note 1: Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 26.5% of global coal exports in 2021; coal is the country’s most abundant energy resource, and coal ranks as the second-largest export commodity from Australia in terms of revenue; in 2020, Australia held the third-largest recoverable coal reserves in the world behind the United States and Russia

note 2: Australia is by far the world's largest supplier of opals

note 3: Australia holds the largest uranium reserves in the world, and was the second-largest global uranium producer behind Kazakhstan in 2020.

note 4: Australia was the largest exporter of LNG in the world in 2020.

Geography - note

note 1: world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; the largest country in Oceania, the largest country entirely in the Southern Hemisphere, and the largest country without land borders

note 2: the Great Dividing Range that runs along eastern Australia is that continent’s longest mountain range and the third-longest land-based range in the world; the term "Great Dividing Range" refers to the fact that the mountains form a watershed crest from which all of the rivers of eastern Australia flow – east, west, north, and south

note 3: Australia is the only continent without glaciers; it is the driest inhabited continent on earth, making it particularly vulnerable to the challenges of climate change; 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; Australia is home to 10% of the world's biodiversity, and a great number of its flora and fauna exist nowhere else in the world

Economic overview

Asian and global economic leader and partner for 3 decades; strong financial sector and highly traded domestic currency support best credit ratings; aging workforce; export-led model; reduced consumer spending offset by government and business; energy investor


637 km condensate/gas, 30,054 km gas, 240 km liquid petroleum gas, 3,609 km oil, 110 km oil/gas/water, 72 km refined products (2013)

Political parties and leaders

Australian Greens Party or The Greens [Adam BANDT]
Australian Labor Party or ALP [Anthony ALBANESE]
Centre Alliance (formerly known as the Nick Xenophon Team or NXT) [none]
Jacqui Lambie Network or JLN [Jacqui LAMBIE]
Katter's Australian Party [Robbie KATTER]
Liberal Party of Australia [Peter DUTTON]
The Nationals [David LITTLEPROUD]
One Nation or ONP [Pauline HANSON]
United Australia Party [Clive PALMER]

note: the Labor Party is Australia’s oldest political party, established federally in 1901; the present Liberal Party was formed in 1944; the Country Party was formed in 1920, renamed the National Country Party in 1975, the National Party of Australia in 1982, and since 2003 has been known as the Nationals; since the general election of 1949, the Liberal Party and the Nationals (under various names) when forming government have done so as a coalition

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s):
Indian Ocean:
Adelaide, Darwin, Fremantle, Geelong, Melbourne
Pacific Ocean: Brisbane, Cairns, Gladstone, Hobart, Newcastle, Port Port Kembla, Sydney

container port(s) (TEUs): Melbourne (2,909,288), Sydney (2,761,648) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Australia Pacific, Barrow Island, Burrup (Pluto), Curtis Island, Darwin, Karratha, Bladin Point (Ichthys), Gladstone, Prelude (offshore FLNG), Wheatstone

dry bulk cargo port(s): Dampier (iron ore), Dalrymple Bay (coal), Hay Point (coal), Port Hedland (iron ore), Port Walcott (iron ore)


18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the Australian telecom market since 2020 has been impacted by the pandemic, which forced many people to school and work from home and thus adopt fixed-line broadband services; internet traffic, both fixed and mobile, increased substantially as a result; in the fixed sector, there is an ongoing migration from copper-based platforms to fiber; the extension of fixed wireless access will mean that up to 120,000 premises currently dependent on satellite broadband will be able to access 5G-based fixed services; the fixed-line market has been falling steadily over the past five years; in the Australian fixed broadband market, there is a dynamic shift among customers to fiber networks; the DSL sector is steadily shrinking while subscribers on HFC infrastructure will continue to be provided by existing cable, with a steady migration to full fiber connectivity (2022)

domestic: 18 per 100 fixed-line telephone subscriptions and 105 per 100 mobile-cellular; more subscribers to mobile services than there are people; 90% of all mobile device sales are now smartphones, growth in mobile traffic brisk (2021)

international: country code - 61; landing points for more than 20 submarine cables including: the SeaMeWe-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the INDIGO-Central, INDIGO West and ASC, North West Cable System, Australia-Papua New Guinea cable, CSCS, PPC-1, Gondwana-1, SCCN, Hawaiki, TGA, Basslink, Bass Strait-1, Bass Strait-2, JGA-S, with links to other Australian cities, New Zealand and many countries in southeast Asia, US and Europe; the H2 Cable, AJC, Telstra Endeavor, Southern Cross NEXT with links to Japan, Hong Kong, and other Pacific Ocean countries as well as the US; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat, 2 Globalstar, 5 other (2019)


mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast

Government type

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy; a Commonwealth realm

Country name

conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia

conventional short form: Australia

etymology: the name Australia derives from the Latin "australis" meaning "southern"; the Australian landmass was long referred to as "Terra Australis" or the Southern Land


Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean

Map references


Irrigated land

15,210 sq km (2020)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Kevin Michael RUDD (since 19 April 2023)

chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000

FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Internet country code


Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 12,180 (Iran), 8,741 (Afghanistan), 5,042 (Pakistan) (mid-year 2022)

stateless persons: 7,649 (2022)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.693 trillion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (2011)

Moody's rating: Aaa (2002)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (2003)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

Total renewable water resources

492 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 21 years

male: 20 years

female: 22 years (2020)


urban population: 86.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.27% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data include Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island

Broadcast media

the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) runs multiple national and local radio networks and TV stations, as well as ABC Australia, a TV service that broadcasts in the Asia-Pacific region and is the main public broadcaster; Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a second large public broadcaster, operates radio and TV networks broadcasting in multiple languages; several large national commercial TV networks, a large number of local commercial TV stations, and hundreds of commercial radio stations are accessible; cable and satellite systems are available (2022)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: Advance Australia Fair

lyrics/music: Peter Dodds McCORMICK

note 1: adopted 1984; although originally written in the late 19th century, the anthem was not used for all official occasions until 1984; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, "God Save the King" serves as the royal anthem (see United Kingdom)

note 2: the well-known and much-loved bush ballad "Waltzing Matilda" is often referred to as Australia's unofficial national anthem; the original lyrics were written in 1895 by Australian poet Banjo PATERSON, and were first published as sheet music in 1903; since 2012, a Waltzing Matilda Day has been held annually on 6 April, the anniversary of the first performance of the song in 1895
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Australia. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

5.235 million Melbourne, 5.121 million Sydney, 2.505 million Brisbane, 2.118 million Perth, 1.367 million Adelaide, 472,000 CANBERRA (capital) (2023)

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Physicians density

4.13 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

3.8 beds/1,000 population (2016)

National symbol(s)

Commonwealth Star (seven-pointed Star of Federation), golden wattle tree (Acacia pycnantha), kangaroo, emu; national colors: green, gold
Commonwealth Coat of Arms
The current Commonwealth Coat of Arms was granted to Australia by King George V on 19 September 1912. The center of the shield includes symbols of Australia’s six states and the border of the shield symbolizes federation. The shield is held up by the native Australian animals the kangaroo and the emu, which were chosen to symbolize a nation moving forward, based on the fact that neither animal can move backwards easily. A seven-point gold Commonwealth Star sits above the shield. Six of the star’s points represent the Australian states and the seventh point represents the territories. A wreath of gold and blue sits under the Commonwealth Star. Gold and blue are the Commonwealth Coat of Arms’ ‘livery’, or ‘identifying’, colors. Australia’s floral emblem, the golden wattle, frames the shield and the kangaroo and emu and at the bottom of the shield you will see a scroll containing the word ‘Australia’.

Mother's mean age at first birth

28.7 years (2019 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

66.9% (2015/16)

note: percent of women aged 18-44

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 56.9% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 21.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -21% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 53.7

youth dependency ratio: 28.2

elderly dependency ratio: 25.5

potential support ratio: 3.9 (2020 est.)


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years

Population distribution

population is primarily located on the periphery, with the highest concentration of people residing in the east and southeast; a secondary population center is located in and around Perth in the west; of the States and Territories, New South Wales has, by far, the largest population; the interior, or "outback", has a very sparse population

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 25 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 583

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 75,667,645 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,027,640,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix


Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

English 33%, Australian 29.9%, Irish 9.5%, Scottish 8.6%, Chinese 5.5%, Italian 4.4%, German 4%, Indian 3.1%, Australian Aboriginal 2.9%, Greek 1.7%, unspecified 4.7%

(2021 est.)

note: data represent self-identified ancestry, with the option of reporting two ancestries


Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant 18.1% (Anglican 9.8%, Uniting Church 2.6%, Presbyterian and Reformed 1.6%, Baptist 1.4%, Pentecostal 1%, other Protestant 1.7%), other Christian 3.5%, Muslim 3.2%, Hindu 2.7%, Buddhist 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3% (Eastern Orthodox 2.1%, Oriental Orthodox 0.2%), other 2.1%, none 38.4%, unspecified 7.3% (2021 est.)


English 72%, Mandarin 2.7%, Arabic 1.4%, Vietnamese 1.3%, Cantonese 1.2%, other 15.7%, unspecified 5.7% (2021 est.)

note: data represent language spoken at home

Imports - partners

China 28%, United States 10%, Japan 6%, Germany 5%, Thailand 5% (2021)

Disputes - international

Australia-Indonesia: Australia has closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing; Indonesian groups challenge Australia's claim to Ashmore Reef 


total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA


highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,228 m

lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m

mean elevation: 330 m

Current health expenditure

10.7% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

Australia has been part of the Australia, New Zealand, and US Security (ANZUS) Treaty since 1951; Australia is also a member of the Five Powers Defense Arrangements (FPDA), a series of mutual assistance agreements reached in 1971 embracing Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK; the FPDA commits the members to consult with one another in the event or threat of an armed attack on any of the members and to mutually decide what measures should be taken, jointly or separately; there is no specific obligation to intervene militarily 

Australia has a long-standing military relationship with the US; Australian and US forces first fought together in France in 1918 at the Battle of Hamel, and have fought together in every major US conflict since; Australia and the US signed an agreement in 2014 that allowed for closer bi-lateral defense and security cooperation, including annual rotations of US Marines and enhanced rotations of US Air Force aircraft to Australia; Australian military forces train often with US forces; Australia has Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status with the US, a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation 

Australia also has long-standing defense and security ties to the UK, including defense and security cooperation treaties in 2024 and 2013; in 2020, Australia and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the building of a next generation of frigates for their respective navies; the Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN) is their premier bilateral forum on foreign policy, defense, and security issues 

in 2021, Australia, the UK, and the US announced an enhanced trilateral security partnership called “AUKUS” which would build on existing bilateral ties, including deeper integration of defense and security-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains, as well as deeper cooperation on a range of defense and security capabilities; the first initiative under AUKUS was a commitment to support Australia in acquiring conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy

the ADF's missions include protecting Australia’s borders and maritime interests, responding to domestic natural disasters, and deploying overseas for humanitarian, peacekeeping, and other security-related missions; it trains regularly and participates in international exercises; the Army’s principal combat forces include a divisional headquarters with three mechanized brigades and a special operations command; the Navy operates over 40 surface craft and submarines, including 11 destroyers and frigates, two landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ships, and six attack-type submarines; the RAF has an air combat group with more than 140 modern combat aircraft, as well as transport and surveillance air groups (2024)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 60,000 active troops (30,000 Army; 15,000 Navy; 15,000 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory includes a mix of domestically produced and imported Western weapons systems; in recent years, the US has been the largest supplier of arms; the Australian defense industry produces a variety of land and sea weapons platforms; the defense industry also participates in joint development and production ventures with other Western countries, including the US and Canada (2024)

note: in 2023, the Australian defense ministry announced a new strategic review that called for the acquisition of more long-range deterrence capabilities, including missiles, submarines, and cyber tools; in early 2024, Australia announced a 10-year plan to more than double the number of the Navy's major surface combatant ships

Military deployments

note: the number of Australian military forces varies by mission; since the 1990s, Australia has deployed more than 30,000 personnel on nearly 100 UN peacekeeping and coalition military operations around the World

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 2.29 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 2.89 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 8.57 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 13.345 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 5,618,245 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 42.1% (2015 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 8.93 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 375.91 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 105.01 megatons (2020 est.)

Average household expenditures

on food: 9.3% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 3.5% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Alexandrina - 570 sq km

salt water lake(s): Lake Eyre - 9,690 sq km; Lake Torrens (ephemeral) - 5,780 sq km; Lake Gairdner - 4,470 sq km; Lake Mackay (ephemeral) - 3,494 sq km; Lake Frome - 2,410 sq km; Lake Amadeus (ephemeral) - 1,032 sq km

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: (Great Australian Bight) Murray-Darling (1,050,116 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Eyre (1,212,198 sq km)

Major rivers (by length in km)

River Murray - 2,508 km; Darling River - 1,545 km; Murrumbidgee River - 1,485 km; Lachlan River - 1,339 km; Cooper Creek - 1,113 km; Flinders River - 1,004 km

Major aquifers

Great Artesian Basin, Canning Basin

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 20 (4 cultural, 12 natural, 4 mixed); note - includes one site on Heard Island and McDonald Islands

selected World Heritage Site locales: Great Barrier Reef (n); Greater Blue Mountains Area (n); Fraser Island (n); Gondwana Rainforests (n); Lord Howe Island Group (n); Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens (c); Shark Bay (n); Sydney Opera House (c); Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park (m); Kakadu National Park (m)


total petroleum production: 442,500 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 1,174,100 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 197,700 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 356,900 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 2.446 billion barrels (2021 est.)


production: 504.051 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 99.048 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 390.808 million metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 583,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 149.079 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 75.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 8.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 8.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 6.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 142,104,321,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

consumption: 41,905,381,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 101,766,728,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 6,295,646,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 3,228,115,000,000 cubic meters (2021 est.)

note: Australia was the largest exporter of LNG in the world in 2020.

Gross reproduction rate

0.84 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

55.9% (2023 est.)


0.08% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.06% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.09% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Space agency/agencies

Australian Space Agency (ASA; established 2018; headquarters opened in 2020); Defense Space Command (established 2022); Australian Space Office and Australian Space Board/Council (established 1987 and disbanded in 1996) (2023)

Space launch site(s)

Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex (commercial site, South Australia); Arnhem Space Center (commercial site, Northern Territory) (2023)

Space program overview

has a long history of involvement in space-related activities, including astronomy, rockets, satellites, and space tracking; develops, builds, operates, and tracks satellites, including communications, remote sensing (RS), navigational, and scientific/testing/research, often in partnership with other countries; develops other space technologies, including communications, RS capabilities, and telescopes; encouraging growth in domestic commercial space industry sector; cooperates with a variety of foreign space agencies and industries, including those of China, the European Space Agency/EU and their individual member states, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the UK, and the US; co-leads the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Labor force

14.075 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 10.8% (2021 est.)

male: 12.7%

female: 8.9%

Net migration rate

6.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 37.9 years (2023 est.)

male: 36.8 years

female: 39 years

Debt - external

$3,115,913,000,000 (2019 est.)
$2,837,818,000,000 (2018 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$56.702 billion (2022 est.)
$57.878 billion (2021 est.)
$42.545 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars


2,000 km (2011) (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling River systems)

Refined petroleum products - imports

619,600 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Public debt

57.97% of GDP (2022 est.)
69.91% of GDP (2021 est.)
69.22% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

Total fertility rate

1.73 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2023 est.)
2% of GDP (2022)
2.1% of GDP (2021)
2.1% of GDP (2020)
2% of GDP (2019)

Unemployment rate

3.7% (2022 est.)
5.12% (2021 est.)
6.46% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment


26,461,166 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-0.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 24.96 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 96% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

417.87 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 162.26 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 158.668 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 96.942 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)


total: 7,741,220 sq km

land: 7,682,300 sq km

water: 58,920 sq km

note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island

Taxes and other revenues

23.6% (of GDP) (2022 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.329 trillion (2022 est.)
$1.274 trillion (2021 est.)
$1.248 trillion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars


total: 873,573 km

urban: 145,928 km

non-urban: 727,645 km (2015)


2,180 (2024)

Infant mortality rate

total: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.7 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 27.09 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 105 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

34.3 (2018 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.59% (2022 est.)
2.86% (2021 est.)
0.85% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

Refined petroleum products - exports

64,120 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Current account balance

$17.875 billion (2022 est.)
$49.878 billion (2021 est.)
$31.376 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

Real GDP per capita

$51,100 (2022 est.)
$49,600 (2021 est.)
$48,700 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 9,099,619 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (2020 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 13.6% (2020 est.)

male: 15.6% (2020 est.)

female: 11.5% (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

29% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

241.004 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

6.8 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

12.2 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)


installed generating capacity: 82.517 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 237,388,272,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 12,607,778,000 kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 604 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 2, general cargo 76, oil tanker 6, other 520

Children under the age of 5 years underweight



$367.458 billion (2022 est.)
$299.618 billion (2021 est.)
$251.779 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars


$464.925 billion (2022 est.)
$390.027 billion (2021 est.)
$300.81 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 6,409,275 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

462,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 9.51 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.71 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 3.67 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.32 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.81 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 83.3 years (2023 est.)

male: 81.1 years

female: 85.5 years

Real GDP growth rate

4.27% (2022 est.)
2.11% (2021 est.)
-0.33% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

Industrial production growth rate

0.8% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency


total: 32,606 km (2022) 3,448 km electrified

standard gauge: 18,007 km (2022) 1.435 mm

narrow gauge: 11,914 km (2022) 1.067 mm

broad gauge: 2,685 km (2022) 1.600 mm

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 25.3% (2017 est.)

services: 71.2% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0.13% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0.78% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

6.1% of GDP (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.19% (2023 est.)