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About Australia
  Australia at a glance            
  History                                   
  Population & culture            
  Climate                                   
  Geography                            
Population & culture

Population
On the 1 August 2008, the resident population of Australia was projected to be: 21,379,931. You can check Australia¡¦s current population by using the Population Clock from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Australia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. This is due to its small population and its large area of approximately 7.7 million square kilometers. These statistics about population density and area are from the ABS:

COUNTRY

AREA
(km2)

DENSITY
(people per km2)

Australia

7,703,556.6

2.75

Canada

9,971,000

3

Japan

377,000

336

New Zealand

268,000

14

United Kingdom

242,000

244

United States of America

9,809,000

29

Australians are among the most urbanized people in the world.  For example, just over 60% of them live in the capital cities and about 20% live in Sydney. Also, around 80% of the inhabitants of each state and territory live within 100 km of their capital cities. These statistics are from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) showing land areas and populations of States and Territories in 2007:

STATE/ TERRITORY

AREA
(km2)

POPULATION

CAPITAL CITY

CAPITAL POPULATION

NSW

800,642

6,890,000

Sydney

4,340,000

Vic

227,416

5,210,000

Melbourne

3,810,000

Qld

1,730,648

4,180,000

Brisbane

1,860,000

WA

2,529,875

2,110,000

Perth

1,560,000

SA

983,482

1,580,000

Adelaide

1,160,000

Tas

68,401

490,000

Hobart

210,000

ACT

2,358

340,000

Canberra

340,000

 

 

 

 

 

NT

1,349,129

210,000

Darwin

120,000

TOTALS

7,691,951

21,010,000

 

13,400,000

Multiculturalism
Australians pride themselves on their friendliness and multiculturalism.  They live in a generally safe, friendly, sophisticated and harmonious society.  Many ethnic groups are represented in Australia, making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
Australia¡¦s diversity is described here:

  • 25% of Australians were born in another country;
  • 25% of Australians have at least one parent who was born overseas;
  • Australian migrants are from more than 140 countries;
  • 2 % of Australians are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.

Languages
Although English is the official language in Australia, there are more than 200 languages are spoken in Australian households.
Some interesting figures from the ABS website (Year Book Australia, 2008)

  • more than 3.1 million Australians speak a language other than English at home, this is a 10% increase compared with data from 2001;
  • more than 55,000 Australians speak an Indigenous language at home in 2006;
  • about 7% of the total population speaks one of the six most commonly spoken languages (other than English) at their home.

The ABS provides these statistics about the number and proportion of people who spoke a language other than English at home in 2006 (from Year Book Australia, 2008):

Language

Number of
people

Proportion born
in Australia (%)

Proportion of
population (%)

Italian

316,900

42.1

1.6

Greek

252,200

52.8

1.3

Arabic

243,700

42.9

1.2

Cantonese

244,600

21.4

1.2

Mandarin

220,600

12.6

1.1

Vitenamese

194,900

30.3

1.0

Spanish

98,000

24.4

0.5

Tagalog (Filipino)

92,300

15.0

0.5

German

75,600

19.9

0.4

Hindi

70,000

13.7

0.4

The Australian accent is easy to understand.  While there are some minor differences in accent between city and country areas, the difference is much less than you would find in the USA, Britain or Canada.

Religion
Australia is predominantly a Christian country; however, all religions are represented in Australian society. Australians respect the freedom of people to practise their choice of religion. Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues are located in most major cities.
The major religious groups are compared below for the years 1901, 2001 and 2006 (from the ABS):

Census year

Christian (%)

Other religions (%)

No religion (%)

1901

96.1

1.4

0.4

2001

68.0

4.9

15.5

2006

63.8

5.6

18.7

 

 

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