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World > Australia > Australia

   flag of Australia
   Australia

Introduction:
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 in the name of Great Britain. 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 pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.


Official name: Commonwealth of Australia
Capital: name: Canberra
geographic coordinates: 35 17 S, 149 13 E
time difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in October; ends last Sunday in March
note: Australia is divided in
Government type: federal parliamentary democracy
Population: 20,434,176 (July 2007 est.)
Languages: English 79.1%, Chinese 2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8% (2001 Census)
Official Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)

Current Australian Dollar Exchange Rates
Historical Australian Dollar Exchange Rates
Chart Australian Dollar Exchange Rates
Currency code: AUD
Area: total: 7,686,850 sq km
land: 7,617,930 sq km
water: 68,920 sq km
note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island
Climate: generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north


Map of Australia
map of Australia


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Australian Dollar Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Australian Dollar Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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