Official Language

English

Destination Stats

Population
Surface Area
Temperature
Water
Energy
Air Quality
Flora
Fauna

Welcome to Australia… Earth’s smallest continent and sixth largest country containing 10% of the world’s biodiversity!
This section provides additional distinctive details about Australia that define its ecological uniqueness.  Just choose any tab for the area you would like to explore.

  • Total Population: 26,180,121 (2022) | Projected by 2030 – 28,202,414
  • World Rank: #55 (0.33% of Earth’s total human population)
  • Projected: 32,109,135 in 2050; 38,137,769 peak population in 2101.
  • Growth Rate: 0.997% in 2022, 0.519% in 2050; 0.254% in 2100.
  • 49.3% Male; 50.7% Female (2022) 
  • Median Age: 38.04 years (37%-males; 39%-females)
    Source: UNDESA-Population;  Reference: Population Pyramid-Australia.
  • Birth Rate: 12.24 per 1,000 people (2022)
  • Death Rate: 6.70 per 1,000 people (2022)
  • Migration rate: 5.419 people per 1,000 population (down 4.34% from 2021)
  • Indigenous People: ~896,300 people 2022 (projected 1.1 million by 2031); 305 tribes.
    Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
  • Ethnicities: British – 67.4%; Irish – 8.7%; Italian – 3.8%; German – 3.7%; Chinese – 3.6%; Aboriginal Australians – 3.0%; Indian – 1.7%; Greek – 1.6%; Dutch – 1.2%; Other – 5.3%.

Note: 90% of Australians live in metropolitan areas along the country’s South Pacific coast in the southeast corner of the country.

  • 9.31 global hectares (gha) | 23.01 acres per person. 
  • Australia ranks #4 worldwide based on the size of its global footprint.
  • Australia’s biocapacity is 16.57 gha | 40.9 acres per person, significantly higher than the global biocapacity 1.6 gha | 2.96 acres.

Australia’s biocapacity exceeds its global footprint by 7.26 hectares (17.93 acres).  This is very robust for meeting human demands.
Sources: Global Footprint Network and United Nations Environment Programme
Primary Food and Non-Food Product

  • Top Food Crops: Wheat, fruits and nuts, vegetables, sugarcane.
  • Top Non-crop Food Commodities: Beef (cattle),mils (cows), poultry, lamb.
  • Top Non-Food Products: Wool, iron ores, petroleum gases, gold and crude oil..

Raw materials – like sugarcane, coffee and iron ore – account for about 45% of Australia’s exports, demonstrating its vital role in sustaining both domestic and overseas demands.

Reference: Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – ABARES, World’s Top Exports – Australia.

  • Agriculture – 52.86%
    • Pastures & Grazing: 48%
    • Permanent Crops: 4.58%
    • Horticulture: 0.08%
  • Conservation Land – 28.50%
    • Managed Protected Lands – 18%
    • Nature Conservation – 9.5%
    • Native Forests – 1.0%
  • Human Development – 0.71%
    • Urban Use – 0.35%
    • Rural and Farm – 0.27%
    • Mining & Waste – 0.09%
  • Water – 4.10%
  • Other Minimal Use – 13.83%

Sources: Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – ABARES. Figures were tabulated to reflect current data.

  • Average Annual Surface Temperature: ): 22.65°C |72.77°F
    This represents an increase of 1.02°C or 1.8°F since 1990. (Australian Bureau of Meteorology)
  • Climate:  Because if its size, Australia has multiple climates, including tropical, arid/semi-arid, temperate, tropical and subtropical.  Generally pleasant, especially in the heavily populated temperate eastern and southeastern coastal regions. It is dominated by the central desert making it the direst populated continent on Earth.  
  • Australia is largely buffered from severe polar weather that is experienced by countries in the Northern Hemisphere because of the  northern he of the Antarctic by the Southern Ocean to the south. To top it off, Australia receives over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year!  
  • Seasons:  Generally, Australia experiences four distinct seasons which are opposite from the seasons of the Northern Hemisphere; however, in the country’s tropical north, it experiences a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May to October.
    • Spring: September – October. 4°C – 23°C | 39.2°F – 73.4°F.  Generally, spring is not very hot nor is it really cold.  It shares attributes of the other seasons.
    • Summer: December – January. 12°C – 28°C | 53.6°F – 82.4°F, on average. 
    • Sunny warm days along its beaches, heavy rains to the north, and hot arid desert climate in the central region with temperatures reaching upwards of 40 °C (104 °F). Temperatures can peak around 30 °C (86 °F).
    • Autumn (Fall): March – May. 4°C – 24°C | 39.2°F – 75.2°F.  Fall in Australia is oft referred to as Golden Autumn with brilliant red-gold-orange shades of foliage throughout its forests and valleys.
    • Winter: June – August. 0°C – 13°C | 32°F – 55.4°F. Rarely exceeding 20 °C (68 °F) winter is considered by many to be the best time of the year where the weather is perfect for swimming along the Great Barrier Reef or snow skiing in the Victorian Alps.

Sources: Seasons of the Year – Australia, Go Study Australia.

  • Total Water volume: 512 billion cubic meters (bcm) | ~135.2 trillion gallons
  • Potable Water Supply per Person: 19,556.8 cubic meters | 5.17 million gallons.
  • Average Precipitation: 509.7 mm | 20.07 inches.
  • Most of Australia’s water comes from surface water, as opposed to ground water, despite having some of the lowest river levels in the world.  
  • Water Usage: Urban (human use) – 22%; Agriculture – 67%; Industry – 11%.
  • Australia is one of the driest places on Earth, and use per sector will vary year to year based on rainfall and water availability.
  • The Great Artesian Basin is the only reliable source of freshwater for inland Australians, industry and agriculture. It is one the largest underground bodies of water in the world, underlying 23% of the country.

Reference: Australian Government – Bureau of Meteorology.

  • Total Energy Used (2002): 6.13 trillion BTU |0.155 MTOE | 1.80 billion kWh
  • Global Rank in Energy Consumption: #18
  • Primary fuel sources used: Oil 37.2% | Coal – 28.4% | Natural Gas – 27.4% | Renewables – 7.0%.  
  • Almost 27.7% of Australia’s electricity needs comes from renewable energy.
  • Renewable Energy Sources:  Wind – 35.9% | Solar – 35.8% | Hydro – 23.3 % | Biofuels – 5%.
  • In 2022, Australia made it law to reduce its human-induced carbon emissions by 43% by 2030.  Wave energy is expected to contribute to 11% of Australia’s electricity needs by 2050.
    (Sources: Australian Government Department of Energy, Clean Energy Council, CSIRO – Australia’s National Science Agency)
  • Total Estimated Species: ~566,398 Flora and Fauna.
  • Total Identified Living Species: 151,074.
  • 106,831 identified fauna.
  • 44,243 identified flora, fungi and others.
    Total Number of Endangered/Threatened Plant and Animal Species: 1,470
    • 78% (1,384) are plant species.
    • 22% (86) are animal species.
  • 1,257 threatened and endangered species are primarily affected by invasive plants, animals and pathogens (bacteria and viruses), followed by urban and housing development.
  • Habitat loss and land clearing are the leading causes and threats of plant and animal extinction in Australia, primarily due to cattle grazing for beef and dairy products (including crops for feeding livestock) and the fishing industry.
    (References: IUCN Red List, The Nature Conservancy – AustraliaAnimals Australia)

Six of the of the fascinating and intriguing Natural Wonders of Australia… among many:

  • The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, in the Coral Sea, is one of the world’s seven natural wonders because of its colossal size, amazing beauty and immense biological diversity. It is the largest structure made by living organisms and is home to the world’s largest collection of corals, over 1,500 species of fish, rays, dolphins, mollusks, sponges and more, 200 types of birds, and over 20 species of reptiles including sea turtles and giant clams over 120 years old!
  • Maria Island is a 115.5 square-kilometer (44.6 sq mi) island in the Tasman Sea just off the east coast of Tasmania, considered to be one of Australia’s most unique natural attractions where long sandy beaches and turquoise water enclose mountaintop landscapes alongside distinctive endemic terrestrial and marine wildlife.  The island sanctuary makes up the whole of The Maria Island National Park which was established by the Australian Government in 1972 to introduce endemic species form the country’s mainland and provide ecologically sustainable recreation. Known as Tasmania’s Noah’s Ark, Maria Island a wide variety of Australia’s species, including threatened and endangered species, including wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, wallabies, geese, parrots among eucalypt terrains.
    (Also reference: Tasmania and The Maria Island Walk)
  • Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) is a sacred inselberg – a natural isolated mountain formation rising from a generally flat terrain – located in central Australia. This area, located in the southwestern part of the Northern Territory, is abundant with springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings, and is sacred to the local aboriginal Pitjantjatjara people. Though most of the structure lies underground, Uluru is made of sandstone standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high and rising 863 m (2,831 ft) above sea level.  The area is a hot desert climate with high summer temperatures averaging 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) and average low temperatures in winter about 4.7 °C (40.5 °F.
    (Also reference: Australia’s Northern Territory)
  • MacKenzie Falls is the largest waterfall in the heavily kangaroo-populated Grampians National Park (also called the Grampians), a sandstone mountain range located in the southeast Australian state of Victoria. The waterfalls are a must-see when visiting The Grampians as they are the only waterfalls in the territory that flows all year long, plunging 30 meters (98.5 feet) into the majestic MacKenzie River Gorge.
  • Wallaman Falls is Australia’s tallest, constantly flowing, single cascade waterfall, located in  in the Girringun National Park in the northeastern Queensland territory. Wallaman Falls is a designated UNESCO Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, home to some of the oldest rainforests on Earth and a large variety of Australia’s threatened and endangered fauna and flora.
  • Fraser Island is another one of Australia’s designated World Heritage areas rainforests, known for its eucalyptus woodlands and mangrove forests, swamps, sand dunes and shrublands off the country’s eastern coast in Queensland. Primarily made up of sand that has been accumulating for over 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock among a stunning array of vibrant foliage surrounded by turquoise waters teeming with sea life.

This is just the beginning of the Australian natural experience!  Its varying climates provide for extremely diverse and fascinating arrays of natural landscapes, wild flora and fauna, and sweeping ecological beauty and richness, all ensnared by its rich aboriginal and ecological history. 
(Visit Australia.com for more of Australia’s natural wonders!)    

Welcome from Australia!

Summer sunrise in Melbourne, Australia (Wikimedia CC 2_0 by Steve Davidson)

Australia is one of the most unique ecological destinations in the world, home to over 200 different cultures and the oldest known civilization on Earth – the Aboriginal Australians. It is the only continent that is entirely a single country, and it is also the largest inhabited desert in the world.  Over 26 million people call Australia home where about 90% of the population lives on the coast away from its desert interior.  Its climate is milder and less severe than its Northern Hemisphere counterparts because it is relatively unimpacted by polar winds and fronts, protected from the Antarctic by the Southern Ocean.  

Australia is the world’s smallest continent, but it is the sixth largest country in surface area and 55th most populous. One of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet, Australia is home to The Great Barrier Reef – one of the world’s seven natural wonders, and it holds 10% of the world’s diversity where 70% of its species are found nowhere else on Earth.   

Australia, nicknamed The Land Down Under because of its location far south of the equator, is considered one of the safest and most wondrous places to visit and to experience one of the most interesting natural environments on Earth.  Welcome to Australia’s cultural hub on Ecology PrimeThis is Australia….

De Facto National Language: English (there is no one national or official language)

  • Australia has over 200 spoken languages, including more than 160 languages of indigenous origin.
  • While English is the most spoken language in Australia (76.8% of the population), Mandarin is the second largest spoken language (2.5% of the population).
Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia’s Northern Territory (Wikimedia CC 4_0 by Brett Stanley

Unique Australia Facts: Did You Know…?

  • Australia is the flattest continent on Earth, and it is the driest inhabited continent; however, it is the second driest of all continents behind Antarctica which has no permanent resident
  • Australia has ten named deserts which account for nearly 19% of its total surface area; 70% of the continent is classified as arid or semi-arid desert land because of how little rainfall it receives (less than 50 centimeters or 19.7 inches annually)
  • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing on Earth that is visible from space!  It is the world’s largest structure made by living organisms, stretching for 2,300 km (1,428 miles) and covering 344,400 km2(133,000 mi2)
  • Nuclear generation is not utilized in Australia for its energy needs; however, the country holds the largest uranium reserves in the world and is the world’s second-largest uranium producer behind Kazakhstan. Rich in minerals and metals, Australia is the 4th largest producer of gold in the world.
  • More than 80% of the country’s flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia, along with most of its freshwater fish and almost half of its birds.
  • There are nearly 43 million kangaroos in Australia, which are indigenous to the country. The kangaroo population, however, has previously been over 53 million in 2013, a 20% reduction of its population in less than ten years

Is Australia Part of a Larger Continent Called Oceania?

Australia is part of a geographic region called Oceania which includes over 10,000 islands scattered throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  Australia, however, is the only continent in this region because it is one very large continuous land mass whereas the rest of Oceania are islands not connected by a single land mass. 


Search for Topics In:

AUSTRALIA

Sign-up

for your own personal library

Population

Total Population: 26,180,121 (2022) | Projected by 2030 – 28,202,414

  • World Rank: #55, 0.33% of the world’s total population.
  • Population Density: 3.4 people per km2 | 8.8 people per mi2. (4th least densely populated country.)
  • Australia is home to nearly 60% of the human population in Oceania
  • Most Populous City: Sydney | 4,627,345.
  • Least Populous City: Kingaroy| 10,286 
  • Least Populous Village (non-urban): Cooladdi | 4

Surface Area

Total Surface Area: 7,741,220 km2 | 2,988,901.8 mi2 

  • World Rank: #6
  • 99.2% is Land Surface Area:  7,682,300 km2 (2,966,152.6 mi2) – 1.52% of the world’s total land area.
  • About 70% of Australia is classified as desert, mostly located in its western and central regions.  Still, less than 3% of Australia’s human population lives in these desert regions.
  • 0.8% is Water Surface Area: 58,920 km2 (1,079.5 mi2) – 0.016% of the world’s water surface.

Featured


Temperature

Average Annual Temperature (2017-2022): 22.65°C |72.77°F*

*This represents an increase of 1.02°C or 1.8°F since 1990. (Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

Water

Total Water Volume:  512 billion cubic meters (bcm) – or about 135.2 trillion gallons.  

  • Total water volume includes surface water (440 bcm or 116.2 trillion gallons) and ground water (72 bcm or 19.0 trillion gallons).
  • Annual Precipitation (average): 509.7 mm | 20.07 inches. (Australian Bureau of Meteorology)
  • Potable (rechargeable) water supply per resident:  19,556.8 cubic meters (5.17 million gallons).
  • Australia does not depend on water supplies outside of the country… 100% of Australia’s population has access to safe drinking water.

Featured


Energy

Annual Total Energy Usage (est. for 2022): 6.13 trillion BTU (0.155 MTOE – megatonnes of oil equivalent or 1.80 billion kWh – kilowatt hours)  

Air Quality

Air Quality Index – AQI: 24 – Good
(Average Score Mid-2022)

  • Global ranking – 2021: #11 least polluted nation of 117 monitored.
  • (Based on 2021 AQI of 23.)
  • Most polluted city – 2021:  Armidale, New South Wales| AQI = 47.
  • Least polluted city – 2021: St. Helens, Tasmania | AQI = 8 – Very Good.
  • Leading pollutants and sources: Particulate matter and gases from both human-made and naturally occurring sources including transportation, industry, commercial activities, soil dust (dust storms), brush fires and ocean spray. Particulate matter and gases from vehicles and industry are the leading air pollutants. Domestic wood burning poses a significant air pollution hazard in the winter months. 
  • VIEW AUSTRALIA’S CURRENT AIR QUALITY 

Featured


Flora

24,716 species

  • Flowering Plants: 18,706
  • Algae: 3,545
  • Ferns and Fern Allies: 498
  • Conifers: 120
  • Mosses & Liverworts: 1,847
  • Fungi & Lichens: 15,341
  • Other (bacteria, plankton, some algae, etc.): 4,186

Total Number of Endangered/Threatened Plant and Animal Species: 1,470
(IUCN Red List and The Nature Conservancy – Australia)

Australian Species Uniqueness: Did you know …?
70% of Australia’s species are found nowhere else in the world!
Some species likely inhabited Earth over 2 million years ago,
like the Wollemi Pine even before the dinosaurs lived.

Fauna

Identified Fauna: 106,831 species – about 1.23% of the world’s ~8.7 million animal species.

  • Invertebrates – 98,703
  • 62,338 insects 
  • 6,615 arachnids
  • 7,266 crustaceans
  • 8,700 mollusks
  • 1705 Cnidaria (i.e., coral, anemones, jellyfish) 
  • 5,918 worms 
  • 6,161 others
  • Vertebrates – 8,128
  • 5,000 fishes
  • 828 birds
  • 386 mammals
  • 917 reptiles
  • 227 amphibians
  • 770 others

Featured

Australia: Fauna

Estimated Total Number Living Species: ~566,398 Flora and Fauna (Non-human species. This is the total number that is estimated to exist but have not been identified. Numbers are approximate due to various reporting methods by various qualified organizations.) Total Number of Identified Living Species: 151,074(Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water)
Read More Australia: Fauna