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Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.

Languages: The official language of Australia is English, which is spoken by the majority of the population. English is used in government, education, and the media, and it is the language of instruction in schools. In addition to English, there are also a number of indigenous languages spoken in Australia, including Pitjantjatjara, Yolngu Matha, and Kriol, among others. Finally, there are a number of other languages spoken in Australia by the country's diverse immigrant population, including Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Greek, and Vietnamese, among others.

Ethnic Groups: English 25.9%, Australian 25.4%, Irish 7.5%, Scottish 6.4%, Italian 3.3%, German 3.2%, Chinese 3.1%, Indian 1.4%, Greek 1.4%, Dutch 1.2%, other 15.8% (includes Australian aboriginal .5%), unspecified 5.4%

Belief Systems: Protestant 30.1% (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%), Catholic 25.3% (Roman Catholic 25.1%, other Catholic 0.2%), other Christian 2.9%, Orthodox 2.8%, Buddhist 2.5%, Muslim 2.2%, Hindu 1.3%, other 1.3%, none 22.3%, unspecified 9.3% (2011 est.)


23.5 million people (World Rank: 51st) (2014 estimate)
Population Density:7.92 people/mi^2 (People per Square Mile) (World Rank: 236th) (2014 estimate)
Population Growth: 1.29 %/yr (World Rank: 100th) (2013 estimate)
Life Expectancy: 82.5 years (World Rank: 5th) (2013 estimate)
Median Age: 36.8 years (World Rank: 46th) (2010 estimate)

Sites for More Information:

Map of Australia

World Factbook

Country Profile for Australia
United Nations

Austrialia - General Information


Culture and Tourism:

Tourism Australia

Connect to Aboriginal Australia

Calendar of Australia's Indigenous Arts and Culture Festivals

Australia's National Parks

Australia Day

Beer and Cider Festivals

Taste of Tasmania
Annual Festival Celebrating Tasmania

Traditional Musical Instruments of Australia

English Language Resources:

Study Abroad Programs

Government Related:

Australian Embassy
in Washington D.C.

Australian Government Websites
by Gunnar Anzinger

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