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.


















Nationality:

noun: Australian(s)
adjective: Australian
Ethnic Groups:

white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
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)
Religions:

Protestant 27.4% (Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%), Catholic 25.8%, 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)
Population:

22,015,576 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54























Major Cities - Population:


Sydney 4.429 million; Melbourne 3.853 million; Brisbane 1.97 million; Perth 1.599 million; CANBERRA (capital) 384,000 (2009)











Statistics
Percent Urbanization89 %
Total People Groups143
Unreached People Groups11
RegionSouth Pacific
10/40 WindowNo
Official National LanguageEnglish
Primary ReligionChristianity
Percent Christian Adherent66.7%  [1]
Percent Evangelical14.2%  [2]
Country Progress Level3.1 
Persecution RankingNot ranked (1=High to 50=Low OD)
Human Development Index0.937 (0=Low to 1=High UN)

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