Country Idealist Profiles

Australia – Human Developpment Index (HDI)

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on July 15, 2008

The Human Development Index: The HDI for Australia is 0.962, which gives the country a rank of 3rd out of 177 countries.

HDI value:

1-Iceland: 0.968

2-Norway: 0.968

3-Australia: 0.962

4-Canada: 0.961

6-Sweden: 0.956

177-Sierra Leone: 0.336


Australia – Internet Access

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on July 15, 2008

Internet hosts: 9.458 million (2007). Internet users: 15.3 million (2006).

At the national level 66% of dwellings in major cities have access to the Internet, compared to 42% for very remote Australia. This gap is similar for Broadband access, the corresponding figures being 46% and 24%. Corresponding access rates for Inner Regional, Outer Regional and Remote Australia are 56%, 52% and 53% for Internet access and 32%, 27% and 28% for Broadband access.

Regression analysis results reveal that regional and remote areas are at least 40% less likely to have Broadband access relative to major cities. The likelihood of any Internet access is relatively higher, but still considerably lower than major cities.

The Australian Capital Territory has the highest proportion of occupied dwellings connected to the Internet (75%).

New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have similar levels of Internet connection, ranging between 63% and 65%.

South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have similar levels of connectivity, ranging between 55% and 58%.

Similar patterns were observed for Broadband connectivity as well. The Australian Capital Territory has the highest proportion of occupied dwellings having Broadband connectivity (53%). New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have very similar levels of Broadband connectivity, ranging between 41% and 42%. South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have similar levels of connectivity, ranging between 28% and 32%.


Australia – Government

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on July 15, 2008


The executive power of the commonwealth is vested in a governor-general (representing the British sovereign) and a cabinet, presided over by the prime minister, which represents the party or coalition holding a majority in the lower house of parliament. The parliament consists of two houses, the Senate, whose 76 members are elected to six- or three-year terms, depending on whether they represent a state or territory, and the House of Representatives, whose 150 members are elected to three-year terms. The distribution of federal and state powers is roughly like that in the United States. British intervention in Australian affairs was formally abolished in 1986. From its early years the federal government has been noted for its liberal legislation, such as woman suffrage (1902), old-age pensions (1909), and maternity allowances (1912). There are four main political parties: Liberal, Labor, National, and Democratic.


Outer Ministry


Australia profile – Economy

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on July 1, 2008

Most of the rich farmland and good ports are in the east and particularly the southeast, except for the area around Perth in Western Australia. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide are the leading industrial and commercial cities. There was considerable industrial development in the last two decades of the 20th cent. While the Australian economy fell into a severe recession in the late 1980s, it experienced an extended period of growth beginning in the 1990s. It then suffered somewhat from the Asian economic slump of the 1990s and from the “Big Dry” drought of the early 21st cent

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $766.8 billion; per capita $37,500.

PBI per capita: 19,0 millones de dólares

Real growth rate: 4%.

Inflation: 3%.

Unemployment: 4.4%.

Arable land: 6.15%.

Agriculture: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry.

Labor force: 10.9 million; agriculture 3.6%, industry 21.2%, services 75.2% (2007 est.).

Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel.

Natural resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum.

Exports: $139.4 billion (2007 est.): coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment.

Imports: $152.7 billion (2007 est.): machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products.

Major trading partners: China, U.S., Japan, Singapore, Germany (2006).

Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 9.94 million (2006); mobile cellular: 19.76 million (2006).

Radio broadcast stations: AM 262, FM 345, shortwave 1 (1998). Television broadcast stations: 104 (1997). Internet hosts: 9.458 million (2007). Internet users: 15.3 million (2006).

Australia profile – Demographics

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on June 23, 2008

Total Population (April 2008): 21,267,000

Population at end Sep qtr 2007

New South Wales: 6 908.9

Victoria: 5 226.4

Queensland: 4 201.1

South Australia: 1 588.5

Western Australia: 2 118.5

Tasmania: 494.5

Northern Territory: 216.5

Australian Capital Territory: 340.3

Australia(a): 21 097.1

(a) Includes Other Territories comprising Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Australian aborigines: In 1976 and 1993 the Australian government enacted land-rights legislation that has returned to the aborigines a degree of autonomy, and court decisions in 1992, 1996, and 2006 have recognized aboriginal property and native title rights. The recent increase in aboriginal population reflects improved living conditions and a broad and inclusive definition of aboriginal identity on the part of the government. Their average standard of living and life expectancy, however, are not comparable with that of most Australians. In 1999 the Australian government issued an official expression of regret for past mistreatment of aborigines, but has opposed issuing the formal national apology sought by aborigine leaders, fearing that would encourage claims for compensation.

For more information go to:

Languages: English 79%, native and other languages

Ethnicity/race: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%

Religions:Roman Catholic 26%, Anglican 21%, other Christian 21%, Buddhist 2%, Islam 2%, other 1%, none 15% (2001)

Literacy rate: 99%% (2003 est.)

Ageing population:
Australia’s population, like that of most developed countries, is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. This is resulting in proportionally fewer children (under 15 years of age) in the population. The median age (the age at which half the population is older and half is younger) of the Australian population has increased by 5.5 years over the last two decades, from 31.3 years at 30 June 1987 to 36.8 years at 30 June 2007. Between 30 June 2006 and 2007 the median age increased by 0.2 years.Over the next several decades, population ageing is expected to have significant implications for Australia including health, labour force participation, housing and demand for skilled labour (Productivity Commission 2005, Economic Implications of an Ageing Australia, Research Report, Canberra). At 30 June 2007, Tasmania had the oldest population of all the states and territories with a median age of 39.1 years. The second oldest was South Australia with a median age of 38.9 years, followed by New South Wales (37.0 years), Victoria (36.9 years), Western Australia (36.4 years), Queensland (36.2 years), the Australian Capital Territory (34.6 years) and the Northern Territory (31.1 years).

Median Age of population – At 30 June

Tasmania experienced the largest increase in median age over the last 20 years, increasing by 8.1 years from 31.0 years in 1987 to 39.1 years in 2007. The emigration of younger adults from Tasmania to the Australian mainland has contributed to this accelerated agein.

Population change, Age group1987 to 2007p

Between 30 June 1987 and 30 June 2007, the proportion of Australia’s population aged 15-64 years has remained relatively stable, increasing from 66.6% to 67.5% of the total population. The proportion of people aged 65 years and over has increased from 10.7% to 13.1%. During the same period, the proportion of population aged 85 years and over has doubled from 0.8% of the population at 30 June 1987 to 1.6% of the total population at 30 June 2007. The proportion aged under 15 years decreased from 22.7% to 19.4%.

Population Growth Rate, Year ended current quarter

Population growth

Population structure, Age and sexAustralia1987 and 2007p

Working age population aged (15-64 years): The number of people aged 15-64 years (working age population) increased by 1.6% (or 220,200 persons) in the year ended 30 June 2007. Queensland and Western Australia (2.3%), and the Northern Territory (2.2%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds higher than the national average. The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria (1.6%), South Australia and New South Wales (1.1%), and Tasmania (0.6%) each recorded growth rates for 15-64 year olds lower than the national average.


Australia profile – States and Territories

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on June 23, 2008

States and territories:

Australia has six states, two major mainland territories, and other minor territories.
The states are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.
The two major mainland territories are the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

In most respects, the territories function like the states, but the
Commonwealth Parliament can override any legislation of their
parliaments. By contrast, federal legislation only overrides state
legislation in certain areas that are set out in Section 51 of the Constitution;
state parliaments retain all residual legislative powers, including
powers over hospitals, education, police, the judiciary, roads, public
transport, and local government.

Each state and territory has its own legislature:
unicameral in the Northern Territory, the ACT, and Queensland, and
bicameral in the remaining states. The lower house is known as the
Legislative Assembly (House of Assembly) in South Australia and
Tasmania) and the upper house  is known as the Legislative Council .
The head of yhe government in each state is the Premier  , and in each
territory the  Chief Minister. The Queen is represented in each state
by a Govenor; an Administrator in the Northern Territory and the
Australian Governor-General in the ACT, have analogous roles.

Australia also has several minor territories; the
federal government administers a separate area within New South Wales,
the Jemis Bay Territory, as a naval base and sea port for the national
capital. In addition, Australia has the following, inhabited, external
territories:Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos (keeling) Islands,
and several largely uninhabited external territories : AShmore and
Cartier Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Islands and McDonald Islands,
and the Australian Antartic Territory.

Australia profile – Basic Introduction

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on June 23, 2008

The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland of the world’s smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania, and a number of other islands in the Indian  and Pacific Oceans.The neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua Guinea to the north, the Salomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia  to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. Australia is the only country that is also a continent.

The Australian mainland has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the north and then European  discovery byDutch explorers in 1606, the eastern half of Australia was later claimed by the British in 1770 and initially settled through penal trasportation  to the colony of New South Wales, commencing on 26 January 1778. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown Colonies were established during the 19th century.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies became a federation, and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commowealth realm. The capital city is Canberra, located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The population is just over 21.3 million, with approximately 60% of the population concentrated in and around the mainland state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia profile – Map

Posted in Australia, Australia Basics, Australia General by blopote on June 23, 2008

Map of Australia