This article is about the country. For other uses, see Australia (disambiguation).
Coordinates: 25°S 133°E

Commonwealth of Australia
A blue field with the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter, a large white seven-pointed star in the lower hoist quarter, and constellation of five white stars in the fly – one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars.
Flag
Coat of arms of Australia
Coat of arms
Anthem: Advance Australia Fair[N 1]
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A map of the eastern hemisphere centred on Australia, using an orthographic projection.
Commonwealth of Australia, including the Australian territorial claim in the Antarctic
Capital Canberra
35°18′29″S 149°07′28″E
Largest city Sydney
Official languages None at the federal level
National language English[N 2]
Religion (2016)[3]
52.1% Christianity
30.1% No religion
2.6% Islam
2.4% Buddhism
1.9% Hinduism
0.5% Sikhism
0.4% Judaism
0.4% Other[N 3]
Demonym(s)
Australian
Aussie (colloquial)[4][5]
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
• Governor-General
David Hurley
• Prime Minister
Scott Morrison
• Deputy Prime Minister
Michael McCormack
Legislature Parliament
• Upper house
Senate
• Lower house
House of Representatives
Independence from the United Kingdom
• Federation, Constitution
1 January 1901
• Statute of Westminster Adoption Act
9 October 1942 (with effect
from 3 September 1939)
• Australia Act
3 March 1986
Area
• Total
7,692,024 km2 (2,969,907 sq mi) (6th)
• Water (%)
1.79 (as of 2015)[6]
Population
• 2021 estimate
25,768,800[7] (53rd)
• 2016 census
23,401,892[8]
• Density
3.4/km2 (8.8/sq mi) (192nd)
GDP (PPP) 2020 estimate
• Total
Decrease $1.334 trillion[9] (19th)
• Per capita
Decrease $51,885[9] (17th)
GDP (nominal) 2020 estimate
• Total
Decrease $1.375 trillion[9] (13th)
• Per capita
Decrease $50,844[9] (10th)
Gini (2018) Negative increase 34.0[10]
medium · 22nd
HDI (2019) Increase 0.944[11]
very high · 8th
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Time zone UTC+8; +9.5; +10 (Various[N 4])
• Summer (DST)
UTC+8; +9.5; +10;
+10.5; +11 (Various[N 4])
Date format dd/mm/yyyy
yyyy-mm-dd[12]
Driving side left
Calling code +61
ISO 3166 code AU
Internet TLD .au
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands.[13] It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. Its population of nearly 26 million[7] is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard.[14] Australia’s capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country’s other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65,000 years[15] prior to the first arrival of Dutch explorers in the early 17th century, who named it New Holland. In 1770, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia’s national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the time of an 1850s gold rush, most of the continent had been explored by European settlers and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.

Australia is the oldest,[16] flattest,[17] and driest inhabited continent,[18][19] with the least fertile soils.[20][21] It has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi).[22] A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes and climates, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east, and mountain ranges in the south-east. Australia generates its income from various sources, including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking, manufacturing, and international education.[23][24][25]

Australia is a developed country, with the world’s thirteenth-largest economy and tenth-highest per capita income.[26] It is considered a regional power and has the world’s thirteenth-highest military expenditure.[27] Immigrants account for 30% of the population,[28] the highest proportion in any country with a population over 10 million.[29] The country ranks highly in measures of health, education, economic freedom, and civil liberties.[30]

Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum, and the ASEAN Plus Six.

Contents
1 Etymology
2 History
2.1 Prehistory
2.2 European arrival
2.3 Colonial expansion
2.4 Nationhood
3 Geography and environment
3.1 General characteristics
3.2 Geology
3.3 Climate
3.4 Biodiversity
4 Government and politics
4.1 States and territories
4.2 Foreign relations
4.3 Military
5 Economy
6 Demographics
6.1 Ancestry and immigration
6.2 Language
6.3 Religion
6.4 Health
6.5 Education
7 Culture
7.1 Arts
7.2 Media
7.3 Cuisine
7.4 Sport and recreation
8 See also
9 Notes
10 References
11 Bibliography
12 Further reading
13 External links

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