The following Australia facts provide a good overview of the continent's history, industries, and culture. Both native Australians and visitors find learning about the region both interesting and informative. Australia is often misnamed a country, but it is in fact one of the seven continents of the world. Its government is modeled on Western concepts of democracy and is home to approximately 22 million people. Australia is also one of the most urbanized continents in the world. About 70% of the total Australian population lives in the continent's largest cities rather than its rural emerging areas.
Western traditions are evident in many of Australia's day-to-day traditions. It is also a richly multicultural contractual with influences from immigrants from over 200 other countries. Roughly 40% of Australians are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. About half of them are from non-English speaking nations.
The Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal tribes make up about 2.2% of the total Australian population as of the most recent census. About 75% of the total indigenous population lives in one of Australia's ten major cities. Many others inhabit remote rural regions, and some anthropologists believe these groups first inhabited Australia as early as 100,000 years ago.
Australia has a unique position of being the only nation to occupy an entire continental landmass. The entire geographic area measures about 7.7 million square kilometers. After Antarctica, it is also the driest and flattest continent in the world. It also has a wide range of topography and climate conditions. The physical geography consists of dry deserts, lush rainforests, and croplands in various regions. Roughly a third of the continent has a tropical climate, and Australia also has a vast coastline of about 37,000 kilometers.
Since the Australian landmass has been isolated from other continents for about 55 million years, it has developed a rich and diverse ecosystem. Marsupials such as the koala thrive due to a lack of competition from other similar species. Australia also boasts a unique bird population native only to the continent. Some of Australia's most famous animals include the kangaroo, the platypus, and the koala. About 400 out of the 700 known bird species are not found anywhere else in the world. Australia has around 20,000 different species of plants, including wildflowers and living fossilized plants. About 700 species of acacia can also be found in the Australian wilderness. Some of its most well-known trees are the gum tree and the eucalyptus.
The national anthem of Australia is called "Advance Australia Fair", and it has undergone revisions since the 19th century. It replaced "God Save the Queen" as the official anthem in 1984. The official national colors were also designated gold and green the same year.
English is the official language of Australia, and Australian English has its own unique slang terms and expressions that distinguish it from other dialects. It is actually the most common language by usage rather than written law.
The flag of Australia consist of a small Union Jack square to represent the historical link to Great Britain. A large seven-pointed star symbolizes the six Australian territories and states. A set of small stars on the flag represent the Southern Cross constellation visible over the night sky of the southern hemisphere. The Australian coat of arms dates back to 1912 and consist of the six states' badges.
Australia facts such as these are what makes this nation stand out among others. The continent's history is a source of pride for its long-time residents. It also forms an area of interest for tourists and for people considering making Australia their new home.