Area: 2,967,900 sq mi; 7,686,850 sq km
Perimeter: 17,365 miles (27,945 km)
Density: 6.2 people per square miles
Population: 18.287 million
Death rate per 1,000 people a year: 6.9
Birthrate per 1,000 people a year: 14.1
Marriage rate per 1,000 people a year: 6.0
Life Expectancy: 75.4 males; 81.1 females
Main Language: English
Major Religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodox Christianity
Major Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, and Canberra-Queanbeyan
Leading Exports: wheat, coal, gold, wool, and alumina
Australia is the only country-continent on Earth so it has its own capital
Australia is a unique among the nations of the world because it originated as a prison island. In the 17th and 18th century the British took their common criminals and other prisoners halfway across the world to Australia. There they would leave them with some supplies, and the prisoners, all alone, began to cultivate the island. Also many of the prisoners became shepherds. They began to raise many, many sheep. Sheep had never lived in Australia until then, but it turned out that they flourished, making sheep wool one of Australia's best exports.
Another interesting part of Australia's history is that they had a Gold Rush. We all know about the American Gold Rush but did you know that Australia had one of its own? It happened in the 1800's and it was a bit disappointing. When one person discovered gold, many people flocked to Australia, hoping to get rich quick. Unfortunately, there wasn't a great quantity of gold there, so many people left, downtrodden and penniless from spending so much time and energy searching for gold.
During World War I and the Cold War Australia was a prime ally to America having a very good strategic position to attack enemies. It was near enough to Asia to be a good attacker, and it had English influence. This may have helped WWII end more quickly.
Today Australia is a popular tourist attraction. The tourists flock to Australia today to see the rare wild life such as the kangaroo and the koala. They also go to see the amazing natural plants and crystal-blue waters. Tourists visit the scenic cities, and interact with the unique culture of Australia.Climate and Wildlife:
One third of Australia is in the tropics. In summer it is about 84 degrees F in the north and 64 degrees F in the south. The winter temperatures are 75 degrees F in the north and 50 degrees in the south. It is partially desert but it is also filled with rainforests. The rain forests are populated with koalas, sugar glider opossums and other Australian animals. Australia is also famous for the outback, a large open desert in the middle of Australia. The outback is full of creatures. There are over fifty kinds of kangaroos in Australia. Another famous place in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef. It is a group of reefs and islands extending for over 1,240 miles along the Queensland coast. It is full of coral and wildlife including over 1,200 species of fish. Australia is teeming with wildlife and creatures.
Form of Government: Federal Parliamentary State
Constitution: took effect January first, 1901
Sovereign: British monarch represented by governor-general
governor-general: Appointed by British Monarch advice on local government ministers
Prime Minister: Leader of majority party in Parliament term, as long as party retains majority
Cabinet: Selected by Prime Minister from House of Representatives
Parliament: Senate and House of Representatives; annual sessions. Senate--76 members, elected by universal suffrage; term, 6 years. House of Representatives--148 elected members; term, 3 years
OUR LAST STOP IS ANTARCTICA. I HOPE YOU PACKED WARM CLOTHING
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