Useful country information
Land area: 2,941,283 sq mi (7,617,931 sq km); total area: 2,967,893 sq mi (7,686,850 sq km)
Population (2020 est.): 25,499,884 (growth rate: 1.09%); birth rate: 12.19/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.43/1000; life expectancy: 82.07
Capital (2016 est.): Canberra, 395,790
Canberra: Capital City Profile
Largest cities: Sydney 4.543 million; Melbourne 3.961 million; Brisbane 2.039 million; Perth 1.649 million; Adelaide 1.198 million; CANBERRA (capital) 399,000 (2011)
Monetary unit: Australian dollar
Languages: English 76.8%, Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Greek 1.2%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.1%, other 10.4%, unspecified 5% (2011 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Religions: Protestant 28.8% (Anglican 17.1%, Uniting Church 5.0%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.8%, Baptist, 1.6%, Lutheran 1.2%, Pentecostal 1.1%), Catholic 25.3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.6%, other Christian 4.5%, Buddhist 2.5%, Muslim 2.2%, Hindu 1.3%, other 8.4%, unspecified 2.2%, none 22.3%(2006 est.)
National Holiday: Australia Day, January 26
Literacy rate: 99% (2011 est.)
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Australia became a commonwealth of the British Empire in 1901. It was able to use its natural resources to rapidly develop its agricultural and manufacturing industries and make an important contribution to British efforts during the First and Second World Wars.
A referendum to change Australia's status, from a commonwealth headed by the British monarch to an independent republic, was defeated in 1999.
Long-term environmental concerns include pollution, in particular, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the management and protection of coastal areas, notably, the Great Barrier Reef.
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