Australia facts and figures

Australia: Facts and Figures

=Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country and the largest island. It is the only island that is a continent, it’s the driest, flattest, hottest, most infertile, and still teems with life – a lot of it deadly. Australia has more things that can kill you than anywhere else. That could explain why when Australia was claimed by the British in 1770, they decided to send their criminals there.

Despite this, Australia today is one of the most popular places in the world for people to travel to or relocate to. The people are cheerful, extroverted, and very quick-witted (often at the expense of those coming from their mother country – who they refer to as Poms). Australia has a lot going for it, the climate – the fantastic blue skies, the sun always shines, the cold beer, the excellent wine and food, and the white sandy beaches.  Life doesn’t get much better. It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind place that is hard not to fall in love with, whether as a tourist, expat or immigrant.

History of Australia

Australia was initially settled some 40,000 years ago by the descendants of the Aboriginals, the word Aboriginals meaning “native” (indigenous). The Aboriginals are divided into many tribes and clans with many different dialects and languages, and their version of creation is called the Dreamtime. They are very spiritual people. They have extensive knowledge of bush survival skills and can find water and food in the most barren places, obtaining medicinal plants from the bush.
Their most famous contributions to today’s world from a tourist’s perspective are the didgeridoo and boomerang, which make very popular souvenirs.

Australia was claimed by the British in 1770 and originally settled as a penal colony. As the population grew and new areas were explored, the largely self-governing colonies were established during the 19th century and became a Federation in 1901, forming the Commonwealth of Australia.

Read more about The Australian culture and its important historical events to get a great understanding of how Australians view these events.


Australia has a population of approximately 20 million people, 25% of which were born outside of Australia. English is the main language, but Australia is a multicultural country, so it’s not unusual to walk down a city street and hear people speaking Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Irish, Vietnamese or Italian as their first language. In fact, Melbourne is the largest Greek City outside of Greece and the home of Greek Immigration to Australia.

Hence, the genetic roots of younger generation Australians are convoluted as can possibly be; very few of the younger generation actually know where their families came from and what kind of genetic inheritance they carry with them. This can explain the popularity of services like 23 and Me in the country.

Australians have a passion for abbreviations and slang that can take the first-time visitor a while to fathom.

Geography of Australia

map of australia

Australia’s size is 7,686,850 square kilometres (2,967,909 sq. mi) landmass, with 25,7600 kilometres of coastline, including the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef and one of the natural wonders of the world. Australia’s Size comprises just five per cent of the world’s land area, yet it is the planet’s sixth-largest country.

By far, the largest part of Australia’s size is desert or semi-arid – 40% of the landmass is covered by sand dunes. Only the southeast and southwest corners have a temperate climate and moderately fertile soil. The northern part of the country has a tropical climate: part is tropical rainforest, part grassland and part desert.

Australia consists of six states, two major mainland territories, and other minor territories. New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are the states. Although the capital is Canberra, Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne are major cities and popular places for people migrating to Australia to live.

Melbourne was recently rated the world’s most liveable city by a US-based survey. In fact, Melbourne currently outstrips Sydney in terms of the number of international migrants that annually settle in the city.

Sydney was voted in the top ten cities in the world to live in based on offering the best quality of life. The popularity of Sydney comes down to the fact that those surveyed rated the quality of life achievable in Sydney incredibly highly and believed that Australia is a country offering unlimited possibilities.

Bondi Beach Sydney NSW

Bondi Beach Sydney NSW

A popular destination for many that immigrate to Australia is Bondi Beach, NSW Sydney, Australia. Bondi Beach is perhaps Sydney’s most famous beach and suburb. In fact, some Irish friends have commented that they have met more people from “back home” there than ever they would in Dublin, Ireland.

Perth is one of the most popular city destinations in Australia for families who emigrated from the UK, and over one-third of the city’s population was actually born overseas. British residents make up around twelve and a half per cent of the population living in Perth, Australia.

20 Hilarious Facts About Australians

Since Australians are so unique, consider these twenty hilarious facts about Australians:

  • The government will fine you for not voting: It is quite surprising that voting is a serious activity in Australia given how laid back many Australians are. That said, if you do not vote, be prepared to pay a fine.
  • They Invented the Imaginary Drop Bear: In an effort to scare tourists, Aussies decided to use their sense of humour to invent the story of a bear that fell from trees to bite people.
  • On January 26th is the National Australian Day for Cockroach Races: A country-wide event of cockroach racing happens every January 26th and Australians are very involved in the races.
  • UGG’s Really are Boots Made from Australian Sheepskin: UGG has become a world-renown name for winter boots. That said, Aussies really do call boots made from sheepskin Ugg’s. For this reason, there has been a legal battle since 1999 with the American company to be able to use the Trademark name.
  • Australians are proud of having one of the world’s only pink lakes: A true yet surprising fact is that Lake Hillier is bright pink and many Aussies boast about this national landmark.
  • There are more kangaroos than humans in Australia: In fact, Australian citizens are the minority in their country, given that there are only approximately 23,856,200 of them and 50 million kangaroos.
  • An Australian first coined the term “selfie”: The word “selfie” first became big in Australia thirteen years ago, and due to Australians and their notorious global travel, the term has since spread.
  • Each part of Australia uses a different name for bathing suits: Queensland calls bathing suits togs, New South Wales calls them cossies, and Victoria uses the term bathers.
  • Australia’s first police force was formed by their best-behaved convicts: Entertainingly enough, the first police in Australia were in fact criminals to set the example for good behaviour.
  • Australians are obsessed with Vegemite: On average, Australians consume 22.7 million jars of Vegemite B Vitamins annually.
  • One of the top exports from Australia to Saudi Arabia is camels: Surprisingly, Saudi Arabia needs Aussie camels, which are a regular export from the country, showing Australia’s vast camel population.
  • Certain states require an electrician to change lightbulbs: In Victoria, electricians are required to change a lightbulb. One can be fined for attempting to change one and getting caught.
  • Many Aussies do not allow wearing slippers after sunset: It is seen as tacky to wear slippers after sunset in Australia.
  • Australians constructed one of the longest highways in the world: Highway 1 in Australia is surely one of the longest highways in the world as it goes on the perimeter of the entire continent of Australia. The length is 14,500 km.
  • Australia has 1.2 million millionaires: Australians have done quite well for themselves. In fact, many of their citizens have achieved the status of being a millionaire.
  • Australia has the highest median wealth in the world: Due to Australia’s immigration policies, they do have the highest median wealth in the world, which is quite humorous due to their reputation of being quite laid back and festive as a people.
  • Australians have a stronger skiing culture than the Alps in Switzerland: Surprisingly, Australia has some world-class skiing because its mountains collectively have more natural snow than the Alps in Switzerland.
  • Many English-speaking countries can’t understand the Australian accent: Many Australians are not aware that fellow English-speaking countries cannot understand 2/3 of what they are actually saying.
  • In 1892, 200 disgruntled Australians started a colony in Paraguay called “New Australia”: In an attempt to leave Australia, 200 Australians tried to start a colony in Paraguay called “New Australia,” however, the colony was subsequently unsuccessful.
  • Australian airline Qantas once powered a domestic flight with cooking oil: Qatas has become known as Australia’s signature airline. That said, they survived a domestic flight entirely powered by cooking oil.