Australia Geography and Population

Australia – Geography

Australia belongs to the highly developed, industrialized part of the world, but is isolated in relation to it. There are 15,000 km to Europe, 12,000 km to the United States and 7,000 km to Tokyo. Australia has huge uninhabited areas and large parts are little explored. Until the arrival of Europeans in the mid-1700’s. the Aborigines had lived relatively isolated and unchanged for millennia. For the past 200 years, the country has been characterized by large-scale immigration, which has changed the country dramatically.


The residents are partly the indigenous population, partly descendants of European immigrants as well as new immigrants from both Europe and SEA-Asia. The vast majority of the population are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Out of a population of 23.8 million. (2015) Aborigines and other Australian indigenous peoples make up approximately 670,000 (2011). This is a strong growth since World War II (60,000 Aborigines in 1954), but the figure is still lower than the estimated number of 750,000 in 1788, when European immigration began, and the numbers are uncertain, as Aborigines were not included in the country’s censuses until 1967.

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Before colonization, more than 200 indigenous Australian languages ​​were spoken; today fewer than 100 are spoken, most only by quite a few. Nearly 2,000 Aborigines still live as hunters and gatherers; the majority of the others live at cattle stations, mining areas and in small towns in the hundreds of reserves located in northern, western and central Australia. The living conditions of the Aborigines, especially in the reserves, are poor. Health conditions are poor, unemployment is high, alcohol abuse is widespread, and the public sector must to a large extent ensure the welfare of indigenous peoples. See also Aborigines. For culture and traditions of Australia, please check calculatorinc.

States and territories
capital city population in mio. (2014) area (km2)
New South Wales Sydney 7.5 801,600
Queensland Brisbane 4.71 1,727,200
South Australia Adelaide 1.68 984,000
Tasmania Hobart 0.51 67,800
Victoria Melbourne 5.82 227,600
Western Australia Perth 2.57 2,525,500
Australian Capital Territory Canberra 0.39 2400
Northern Territory Darwin 0.24 1,346,200

European immigration. The first immigrants were English convicts, who in 1788 were sent to SEA Australia, a total of approximately 170,000, of which 30,000 women. Gold finds in the 1850’s led to a large influx of immigrants, and since then this has continued. The vast majority came from the United Kingdom, some of which were supported by the colonial government with travel money (assisted immigration). Throughout the 1900’s. Australia has administered restrictive immigration laws, which prevent the immigration of the uneducated from developing countries but encourage the immigration of the highly educated. In the early 1990’s, immigration was over 100,000 a year; still most are Europeans, but an increasing proportion are well-educated young people from Asia.

Danish immigration. In the early 1990’s, Australia had approximately 9000 citizens who were born in Denmark. A Danish sailor arrived with The First Fleet in 1788 and was later active in the colonization of Tasmania. Almost 3,000 Danes came to Queensland in the 1870’s during a recruitment campaign. For the past 100 years, Danes have had a significant influence on the dairy sector in the state of Victoria. Danish-born Australians have also made a name for themselves in sugar production and breweries. In 2006 there were approximately 9000 Danish first-generation immigrants in Australia and approximately 11,000 of the second generation. The Danes mainly live in the states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

The natural population growth. Pga. the many immigrants, who are often young people, the birth rate has been high compared to other countries: the birth rate has been high and the death rate low. The natural population growth was 0.7% in 2012, corresponding to 161,300 people. Since the 1970’s, the frequency of births has decreased, because Australian women are increasingly working outside the home. In the 1990’s and onwards, the population grew by just over 1% per year; the growth is divided between an annual birth surplus of approximately 100,000 children and a corresponding immigration surplus.

The population density is very low, less than 2 residents per km2. The majority of the population lives near the SE coast. In the few densely populated areas, the population lives primarily in and around the major cities; 70% live in the capitals of the states or in cities with more than 100,000 residents. In large parts of Central and NW Australia there are no business opportunities other than mining, and in Northern Australia the climate due to high temperatures and high humidity is not pleasant for at least ten months of the year. The isolation of the remote areas in itself helps to make them unattractive to any newcomers. The urban pattern is characterized by a few large cities; in Sydney and Melbourne alone occupy 40% of the country’s residents. The larger cities are all, with the exception of Canberra, laid out by natural harbors. The urban areas are large in relation to the population. It is common to live in one’s own house with garden; in Australia, land is cheap. Urban growth has been strong since the 1950’s, made possible by a sharp increase in private motoring; public transport, on the other hand, is poorly developed.

Population policy has for long periods been characterized by the government’s desire for a larger population. The current 24 million does not constitute a sufficiently large domestic market for modern industrial production, and the resources of both agriculture and mining will undoubtedly be able to meet the needs of a population of double size.


Business development is reminiscent of the development that has taken place in Europe, albeit with a certain shift. During the first half of the 1900-t. industry replaced agriculture as the leading industry, and in the 1970’s the service industries took the lead. This sector has grown by 50% since the 1950’s. Since the 1960’s, the number of public employees has increased and amounts to approximately 25% of the workforce. The development is known from most developing countries: service is specialized, more tasks are placed outside the family, leisure time is increased, and employment within e.g. tourism and rides are growing.

As one of quite a few countries in the world, Australia has a mining sector that is of great and growing economic importance.

The productivity of the manufacturing industries has increased and has reached an annual increase of 2%. This has reached the level of the other developed countries, while Australia was previously at a growth level of around 1%.


Until the Australian colonies were united in 1901, there was no connection between the business life of the various states. Each had their industries based on their own needs and their own raw materials. Furthermore, the large distances made it difficult to exchange goods. The distance to Europe meant that there was no particular competition from outside and the industry could develop steadily and diversely. After World War II, growth has been significant, against the background of large foreign investment. In 1991, 35% of industry and 45% of mining were in foreign hands.

Three quarters of the industry is located in New South Wales and Victoria with Sydney and Melbourne as the major industrial centers. The Australian domestic market is too small to take full advantage of modern industrial scale, and as industrial exports are limited, industry has for long periods been protected by high tariffs. This import duty has meant that the requirements for efficiency and quality have not been high and it has put Australian industry in a difficult competitive situation on the world market. Only one Australian company, Broken Hill Proprietary, has a format that makes it internationally effective. BHP has wide-ranging interests in mining, oil and gas, steel production, chemical industry, etc. The company focuses on research and development and exports know-how to the whole world. BHP has interests in over 50 countries and has approximately 60,000 employees in Australia a dominant company.

Agriculture etc.

At the founding of the penal colony, the British bet that the colony should be self-sufficient in food. It succeeded after a few years, and early on they began to export wool from the growing sheep population. The convicts were set to build roads and ports, and the agricultural areas gained transport connection to the world market. The wheat became important when the railways were built in the 1870’s and onwards. Wheat exports rose sharply in the 1890’s with the introduction of dry farming techniques and harvesters.

The sharp increase in agricultural production after World War II took place in step with the expansion of agricultural land and the introduction of newly developed cereals and livestock breeds. The increase in agricultural production has not required more employees; on the contrary, the agricultural population has been halved in the same period due to mechanization. Agriculture is at the same high level of mechanization as the American. The depopulation of rural areas has meant that the rural population has become further isolated. Financing companies have in many cases taken over the farms.

After the United Kingdom joined the Community in 1973, it has been difficult to sell production at profitable prices, and Australia has had to restructure parts of its production and seek new markets in the United States, Japan and China.

Up to 5 million km2 is included (2014) in the operation of the Australian farms. Only 4% is arable land, while the remaining part is used for grazing for the huge flocks of sheep and cattle. For every resident of Australia there are approximately 10 sheep and 1 1/2 paragraphs. cattle. The size and mode of operation of farms varies greatly. In addition to the natural conditions, transport conditions, such as the distance to the market, play a major role for the farms. On average, the holdings are no less than 2800 ha. It ranges from horticulture with vegetables in Victoria on 10 hectares to cattle farms, cattle stations, in the Northern Territory of over 300,000 ha. Overgrazing, salinization in connection with irrigation and water erosion are consequences of the increased production, and alternative agricultural techniques are being experimented with in many places. When the ecological damage hits so hard, it is due to the poor rainfall, the long periods of drought and the nutrient-poor soil with poor ability to retain nutrients and moisture.

Fishing is not very important. Australian waters are not as rich in nutrients and fisheries as European ones; they have a great richness of species, but it is difficult to fish the stocks with industrialized methods.

Whaling was the main export industry in the colony’s first 50 years, and until 1950 there was significant whaling based in Australian ports. The last whaling station was closed in 1978, when predation had destroyed whale populations and, like most other countries, Australia introduced a hunting ban.


Mining is both old and new. The great gold discoveries of the 1850’s and 1860’s led to a tremendous gold rush and a great deal of interest in the underground. However, the high transport costs to the market in Europe meant that it was not profitable to exploit the less valuable mineral deposits such as coal and iron ore. Only after the establishment of the federation in 1901 did the company Broken Hill Proprietary establish an Australian steelworks based on local coal and iron ore.

After World War II, transportation costs on the world market have dropped significantly; especially the development of the very large bulk carriers has meant that it is now possible to transport cheap raw materials across the world’s oceans profitably. Since the 1960’s, colossal discoveries have been made in Australia; new geological exploration methods have made it possible to explore the enormous desolate areas, from aircraft. Australia has become self-sufficient in all mineral resources and energy, and is one of the world’s leading mineral exporters. Abroad is interested in Australia’s ores, as the value is high and the ores are usually cheap to mine in open pit mines. Furthermore, mine production is established at such a late stage that working methods are highly automated and most Australian mines are generally very competitive. Especially in mining, there has been a significant increase in efficiency, so that Australia today (2006) is the world leader in terms of production of ore per. working hours. Coal production accounts for 1/3 of the mining and the country is the world’s fourth largest coal producer (2012; after the US, China and India). Oil and gas production is growing, while several gold mines are closed under the impression of low world market prices.

Energy production includes most forms of energy. The reserves of hard coal and lignite are very large. Japan, which accounts for half of its exports, is helping to finance mining in New South Wales and Queensland. The lignite is not exported, but is used on site for electricity generation. The oil and gas reserves are smaller, but are utilized both onshore and offshore. Most major cities are connected by gas pipelines to the fields. The uranium deposits potentially represent far greater amounts of energy than the others; production is exported. Wind and solar energy should have rich opportunities, but as the state is involved in large coal and oil projects, and as the prices of fossil energy are low, the development of renewable energy projects has been limited.


Australia is an ancient continent; large parts are older than 545 mill. years (Precambrian) and due to millions of years of erosion, Australia is the flattest of the continents. Off the northern part of the east coast lies the 2000 km long Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef. Along the east coast runs the over 3000 km long mountain range Great Dividing Range; Mount Kosciusko in the southeast is with its 2230 m the highest point of the country. The mountain range separates the narrow, lush coastal plain from the large inland, which to the south consists of fairly fertile river plains drained by Murray-Darling river system. To the west and north, Outback lies the large, desert-shaped inland with salt lakes, Lake Eyre, and single, heavily eroded mountain ranges. Many of the rivers here do not reach the sea and are only water-bearing after heavy rain showers. Tasmania differs from the mainland by being lush and mountainous.

The northern part of Australia has a tropical climate, the rest is subtropical; however, Tasmania has a temperate climate. In the central part of the country there is a mainland climate with large temperature differences. Australia is the driest continent after Antarctica. The average rainfall of 250 mm covers large variations: In the tropical coastal areas there can be an annual rainfall of 2200 mm, while in the dry, inner part there can be years between rain showers.

In Northern Australia there is tropical savannah and savannah forest with eucalyptus and acacias, on the east coast rainforest, subtropical forest and savannah, to the southwest maki, and to the south temperate rainforest with eucalyptus, beech and fern. In the dry interior, the vegetation moves from grass steppe and shrub steppe with low, gray-green acacia bushes (mulga) into the desert. The country has a unique wildlife, where the marsupials are completely dominant among the mammals, such as the marsupial koala and kangaroos. Many bird families, such as the emu, are unique to Australia or the Australian territory, and there are many parrots.


In a vast country such as Australia, it is essential for business development that the regions are in good transport links with each other. AAAAAAAAAAAAA about transport in Australia.

Foreign relations

Until World War II, foreign trade was marked by its former colonial affiliation with Britain. In the early 1990’s, Japan and the United States dominated. Exports consist mostly of raw materials and imports of finished goods. Japan has been the most important trading and cooperation partner since 1980. Since 1984, there have been annual meetings at Prime Ministerial level between the two countries to adjust trade, investment and other forms of common interest.

Australia has administered several overseas territories. The most important, Papua New Guinea, became independent in 1975. Development aid is relatively modest (0.35% of GDP); the majority goes to Papua New Guinea. Australia has had permanent bases in Antarctica since 1911 and is a co-signatory of the Antarctic Treaty. The Australian Antarctic Territory is made up of the traditional Australian requirements in Antarctica, but in the light of the international agreements for this area, the requirements are not pursued.

Australia – Plant Geography

The Australian Flora includes the Australian continent and nearby smaller islands. Farthest to the northeast are areas of tropical rainforest that are species-related to the forest in the Indomalay area, ie. Among other things, Bagindia, Sri Lanka and New Guinea. The tropical parts are otherwise dominated by open dry forest and savannah.

In the southwestern part of the country, where there is winter rain, there is a very species-rich vegetation, reminiscent of the Mediterranean, but where the vast majority of the species are found only in Australia. In the mountainous areas of the southeast and in Tasmania, wetter types of vegetation occur, and many of the species are also found in New Zealand (eg southern beech and tree ferns).

The vegetation in the interior of the continent is strongly drought-prone; it is often dominated by gray-green acacia shrubs (mulga) and prickly, cushion-shaped grasses (spinex). After rain, there may be a short-lived flowering of annual species, many of which are from the basket flower family.

Australia’s flora includes approximately 25,000 species of vascular plants, of which 80% are estimated to be endemic, ie. that they do not occur elsewhere.

Most vegetation types are dominated by Eucalyptus, a genus in the myrtle family with approximately 600 species, almost all from Australia; they range from almost 100 m tall trees to multi-stemmed shrubs with woody underground tuber (mallee); the forest boundary on Mt. Koscius shoes are also formed by a Eucalyptus species, “snow gum”. The genus Acacia is rich in species; unlike, for example, the African species, most Australians are not thorny and carry phyllods (flat leaf stalks that replace the actual leaf plate). A prominent family is Proteaceae with the genera Banksia and Grevillea; the family is found in the southern hemisphere and is also richly represented in South Africa. Similar distribution has Restionaceae, a family of monocotyledons reminiscent of half-grasses.

Purely Australian are the iron tree family (Casuarinaceae) and the family Epacridaceae; the latter is related to the heather family and can be said to replace the bell heather species of the South African Cape. Very distinctive is the grass tree family (Xanthorrhoeaceae), where the grass-like leaves sit in rosettes at the end of stems up to 3 m high.

Australia – language

The common language in Australia is English, and the vast majority of Australians are monolingual English speakers. Among new immigrants, however, there are many bilinguals, and Italian and Greek in particular are strong. Descendants of the indigenous people speak indigenous Australian languages, English-based Creole languages or a form of adapted English called Aboriginal English.

Australian English does not differ significantly grammatically and orthographically from other forms of English. The tone is less lively than in BBC English, and the vocals are reminiscent of those found in the English dialect cockney. Particularly noteworthy is the wording: Australian English has partly borrowed words from the original languages ​​(eg boomerang, kangaroo), partly adapted English words to the special natural and cultural conditions (eg bush, outback).