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Coordinates: 27°S 133°E / 27°S 133°E / -27; 133


A blue field with the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter, a large white seven-pointed star in the lower hoist quarter, and constellation of five white stars in the fly – one small five-pointed star and four, larger, seven-pointed stars.
Coat of arms of Australia
Flag Coat of arms
Location of Australia
Capital Canberra
35°18.48′S 149°7.47′E / 35.30800°S 149.12450°E / -35.30800; 149.12450
Largest city Sydney
Official languages None
National language English
Demonym
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Sir Peter Cosgrove
Malcolm Turnbull
Robert French
Legislature Parliament
Senate
House of Representatives
Independence from the United Kingdom
1 January 1901
• Statute of Westminster Adoption Act
9 October 1942
3 March 1986
Area
• Total
7,692,024 km (2,969,907 sq mi) (6th)
Population
• 2016 estimate
24,311,900 (51st)
• 2011 census
21,507,717
• Density
2.8/km (7.3/sq mi) (236th)
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
• Total
$1.137 trillion (19th)
• Per capita
$47,318 (17th)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
• Total
$1.223 trillion (13th)
• Per capita
$51,642 (9th)
Gini (2012) 33.6
medium · 19th
HDI (2014) Increase 0.935
very high · 2nd
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Time zone various (UTC+8 to +10.5)
• Summer (DST)
various (UTC+8 to +11.5)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the left
Calling code +61
ISO 3166 code AU
Internet TLD .au

Australia (/əˈstrliə/, /ɒ-/, /-ljə/), officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney.

For about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages classifiable into roughly 250 groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard.

Australia has the world's 13th-largest economy and ninth-highest per capita income (IMF). With the second-highest human development index globally, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum.


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