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Australia (2004)

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Australia 2004 year

Administrative divisions 6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia
Age structure 0-14 years: 20.1% (male 2,044,449; female 1,948,574)

15-64 years: 67.2% (male 6,747,687; female 6,623,995)

65 years and over: 12.8% (male 1,121,522; female 1,426,917) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry
Airports 444 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 305

over 3,047 m: 10

2,438 to 3,047 m: 12

1,524 to 2,437 m: 131

914 to 1,523 m: 139

under 914 m: 13 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 143

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 112

under 914 m: 14 (2004 est.)
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
Area - comparative slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states
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 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 its 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. Long-term concerns include pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef. A referendum to change Australia's status, from a commonwealth headed by the British monarch to a republic, was defeated in 1999.
Birth rate 12.4 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $185 billion

expenditures: $181 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)
Capital Canberra
Climate generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
Coastline 25,760 km
Constitution 9 July 1900, effective 1 January 1901
Country name conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia

conventional short form: Australia
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Death rate 7.38 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $233.5 billion (2003 est.)
Dependent areas Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador J. Thomas SCHIEFFER

embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600

mailing address: APO AP 96549

telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600

FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970

consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Michael J. THAWLEY

chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000

FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
Disputes - international the 1999 maritime delimitation established partial maritime boundaries with East Timor over part of the Timor Gap but temporary resource-sharing agreements over an unreconciled area grant Australia 90% share of exploited gas reserves and hamper creation of a southern maritime boundary with Indonesia (see Ashmore and Cartier Islands disputes); Australia asserts a territorial claim to Antarctica and to its continental shelf (see Antarctica)
Economic aid - donor ODA, $894 million (FY99/00)
Economy - overview Australia has an enviable Western-style capitalist economy, with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant West European economies. Rising output in the domestic economy has been offsetting the global slump, and business and consumer confidence remains robust. Australia's emphasis on reforms, low inflation, and growing ties with China are other key factors behind the economy's strength. The impact of drought, weak foreign demand, and strong import demand pushed the trade deficit up to $18 billion in 2003 and to $20 billion in 2004 from $8 billion in 2002. One other concern is the domestic housing bubble.
Electricity - consumption 184.4 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 198.2 billion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m

highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m
Environment - current issues soil erosion from overgrazing, industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices; soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water; desertification; clearing for agricultural purposes threatens the natural habitat of many unique animal and plant species; 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; limited natural fresh water resources
Environment - international agreements party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Ethnic groups Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Exchange rates Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.5419 (2003), 1.8406 (2002), 1.9334 (2001), 1.7248 (2000), 1.55 (1999)
Executive branch chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Michael JEFFERY (since 11 August 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister John Winston HOWARD (since 11 March 1996); Deputy Prime Minister John ANDERSON (since 20 July 1999)

cabinet: Parliament nominates and selects, from among its members, a list of candidates to serve as government ministers; from this list, the governor general swears in the final selections for the Cabinet

elections: none; the monarch 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 leader of a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor general

note: government coalition - Liberal Party and National Party
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $68.67 billion (2003 est.)
Exports 9.744 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 523,400 bbl/day (2001)
Exports - commodities coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment
Exports - partners Japan 18.1%, US 8.7%, China 8.4%, South Korea 7.4%, New Zealand 7.4%, UK 6.7% (2003)
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 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; the remaining half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars
GDP purchasing power parity - $571.4 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 3.5%

industry: 26.3%

services: 70.2% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $29,000 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 27 00 S, 133 00 E
Geography - note world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; regular, tropical, invigorating, sea breeze known as "the Doctor" occurs along the west coast in the summer
Highways total: 811,603 km

paved: 314,090 km (including 18,619 km of expressways)

unpaved: 497,513 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
Illicit drugs 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
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $82.91 billion (2003 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 530,800 bbl/day (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products
Imports - partners US 16%, Japan 12.5%, China 11%, Germany 6.1%, UK 4.2% (2003)
Independence 1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)
Industrial production growth rate -0.1% (2003 est.)
Industries mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel
Infant mortality rate total: 4.76 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 5.16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.8% (2003 est.)
International organization participation ANZUS, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CP, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, Paris Club, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMEE, UNMISET, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, WToO, ZC
Irrigated land 24,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed by the governor general)
Labor force 10.19 million (37256)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 5%, industry 22%, services 73% (1997 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 6.55% (includes about 27 million hectares of cultivated grassland)

permanent crops: 0.04%

other: 93.41% (2001)
Languages English, native languages
Legal system based on English common law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Legislative branch bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats - 12 from each of the six states and two from each of the two mainland territories; one-half of the members elected every three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (150 seats - this is up from 148 seats in 2001 election; members elected by popular vote on the basis of preferential representation to serve three-year terms; no state can have fewer than five representatives)

elections: Senate - last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held not later than June 2008); House of Representatives - last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held not later than November 2007)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party (as of 1 July 2003) - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 34, Australian Labor Party 28, Australian Democrats 7, Green Party 2, One Nation Party 1, Country Liberal Party 1, Australian Progressive Alliance 1, independent 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 86, Australian Labor Party 60, Country Liberal Party 1, independent and other 3
Life expectancy at birth total population: 80.26 years

male: 77.4 years

female: 83.27 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 100%

male: 100%

female: 100% (1980 est.)
Location Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Map references Oceania
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
Merchant marine total: 52 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,531,461 GRT/1,999,409 DWT

by type: bulk 20, cargo 5, chemical tanker 3, combination bulk 2, container 3, liquefied gas 4, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 6

foreign-owned: United Kingdom 2, United States 12

registered in other countries: 60 (2004 est.)
Military branches Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, new Special Operations Command (announced in December 2002)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $14,120.1 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.8% (2003)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 5,061,810 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 4,356,671 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 140,182 (2004 est.)
National holiday Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
Nationality noun: Australian(s)

adjective: Australian
Natural hazards cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires
Natural resources bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
Net migration rate 3.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines condensate/gas 492 km; gas 28,680 km; liquid petroleum gas 240 km; oil 4,773 km; oil/gas/water 110 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Australian Democrats [Andrew BARTLETT]; Australian Labor Party [Mark LATHAM]; Australian Progressive Alliance [Meg LEES]; Country Liberal Party [Terry MILLS]; Australian Greens [Bob BROWN]; Liberal Party [John Winston HOWARD]; The Nationals [John ANDERSON]; One Nation Party [Len HARRIS]
Political pressure groups and leaders Australian Monarchist League [leader NA]; Australian Republican Movement [leader NA]
Population 19,913,144 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line NA
Population growth rate 0.9% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Devonport (Tasmania), Fremantle, Geelong, Hobart (Tasmania), Launceston (Tasmania), Mackay, Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville
Radio broadcast stations AM 262, FM 345, shortwave 1 (1998)
Railways total: 44,015 km (5,290 km electrified)

broad gauge: 1,957 km 1.600-m gauge

standard gauge: 27,095 km 1.435-m gauge (2,828 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 14,957 km 1.067-m gauge (2,462 km electrified)

dual gauge: 213 km dual gauge (2003)
Religions Anglican 26.1%, Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 24.3%, non-Christian 11%, other 12.6%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment: excellent domestic and international service

domestic: domestic satellite system; much use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile cellular telephones

international: country code - 61; submarine cables to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat (Indian and Pacific Ocean regions) (1998)
Telephones - main lines in use 10.815 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 14.347 million (2003)
Television broadcast stations 104 (1997)
Terrain mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Total fertility rate 1.76 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 6% (2003)
Waterways 2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling river systems) (2004)
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