Interesting Australian Facts

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A list of interesting, important and fun facts about Australia.

Also see: Australian History Timeline

Flag of Australia
Australian Flag

Coat of arms of Australia
Australian Coat of Arms
General Information
• Australia has been inhabited by humans for over 60,000 years.
• The first European settlement was established by Great Britain in 1788
• The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901.
• The golden wattle was proclaimed the official national floral emblem in August 1988.
• Green and gold were proclaimed Australia's national colours in April 1984.
• 'Advance Australia Fair' was officially declared the national anthem on 19 April 1984.
• Australia is the only nation in the world that governs an entire continent.
• The population of Australia in 2011 was over 22,000,000.
• 49.4 percent males and 50.6 percent females.
• Life expectancy for men is 77 years.
• Life expectancy for women is 82 years.
• In 2006 It was ranked the 8th richest nation in per capita terms.
• It is the 6th oldest continuously functioning democracy in the world.
• The World Bank ranks Australia as the second easiest economy in which to start up a business.
• Australia also ranks second on the United Nations Human Development Index 2011.
• Australia's top 5 exports are coal, iron-ore, education services, tourism services and gold.
• Australia has a population density of 2.6 people per km2

Australian Geography
• Australia is the sixth largest country in the world (At 7617930 km2) and is five percent of the world's land area (149,450,000 km2).
• Australia is approximately 3700 kilometres long, from its most northerly point to its most southerly point in Tasmania, and it is almost 4000 kilometres wide, from east to west.
• Its ocean territory is the world's third largest, spanning three oceans and covering around 12 million square kilometres.
• There are 16 Australian properties on the World Heritage List and over 10 percent of mainland Australia's natural environment is protected by legislation.
• It is one of the worlds most diverse countries being home to more than one million species of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
• Australia has some of the oldest land surface on earth with parts dating more than 3,500 million years old.
• Highest Recorded Temperature was 53 degrees Celcius in 1889 at Cloncurry, Queensland.
• Lowest Recorded Temperature was -23 degrees Celcius in 1994 at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales.
• The lowest annual rainfall occurs at Lake Eyre in South Australia, with an annual mean precipitation of about 100mm.
• The highest annual rainfall occurs at Tully in Queensland, with an annual mean precipitation of 4400mm.
• Only six per cent of the Australian landmass is arable and it is the driest inhabited continent on earth.
• The driest place in Australia is Lake Eyre with an average annual rainfall of less than 125mm.
• Not including Tasmania, Melville Island (5698km2), near Darwin, is the largest Island in Australian Waters.
• The highest point in Australia is the top of Mt Kosciusko in New South Wales (2230 metres).
• The lowest point in Australia is 15 metres below sea level at Lake Eyre in South Australia.
• The largest lakes in Australia include Lake Eyre (9500km2), Lake Torrens (5900km2) and Lake Gairdner (4300km2) which are all in South Australia.
• The largest artificial lake in Australia is Lake Argyle (700km2) which is in Western Australia.
• The Deepest lake in Australia is Lake St Clair.
• The Murray River is the longest river in Australia at 2520km, combining with the Darling and Upper Darling Rivers to form the Murray-Darling basin. The Murray Darling extends over 15% of the continent, and serving 4 States and the ACT with water.
• The largest state is Western Australia with an area of over 2.5 million square kilometres.
• The smallest state is Tasmania.

Sources and More info:
GeoScience Australia
OECD Australia