Australia (as a country) is comprised of the mainland of the continent Australia as well as Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. The population of Australia is around 24 million, a great percentage of which are concentrated on the eastern side of the country—near the coast. The size of the country means that many climates are represented; however, a large portion of the population lives in the temperate southeastern climate.
Australia has no official language. English, specifically “Australian English” is the most common language spoken and written throughout the country. Around 20 indigenous Australian languages are still in daily use as well.
- Voting in federal and state elections is mandatory in Australia. It is the only English-speaking country in the world to have this requirement and, therefore, results in 95 percent attendance.
- The world’s longest reef system, The Great Barrier Reef, is found off the northeastern coast of Australia, and it measures over 2,012 km.
- Fraser Island, south of the Great Barrier Reef, is the largest sand island in the world.
- Tasmania in Australia boasts of having the cleanest air in the world.
- In Australia, the School of the Air provides education by radio for children living in isolated areas.
- Many unique animals call Australia home, including the kangaroo, koala, emu and the duckbilled platypus.
- Australia has hosted the summer Olympic games twice thus far—the 1956 Melbourne games and the 2000 Sydney games.
- “The Outback” – a rough, nearly uninhabitable land with a low population density – covers much of the country of Australia.