Cultural Analysis of Australia Essay

4656 Words Oct 20th, 2012 19 Pages
Geography

Australia is both the smallest and oldest continent in the world, and it is the only country that is also a continent. [1] It is an island located between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, just south of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. At 2,941,299 square miles, Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and only about 150,000 square miles (about the size of Montana) smaller than the continental United States. Its interior land is a flat and sparsely populated desert, but as you move outward the climate changes to grassland, subtropical, tropical, and even temperate in the southeastern region. [1] While more than 70% of Australia is arid, the rest includes a variety of rich environments including flood plains,
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[2]

Population

Although large in size, Australia has a relatively small population since much of Western Australia and the Northern Territory is sparsely inhabited. According to the 2011 Census, the population of Australia was 22,485,300. However, the country is growing at a rate of 1.4% per year [4]. The majority of this growth, 56%, is due to net overseas migration into the country with the remaining growth due to the natural birth to death growth. As shown in Figure 1, natural increase has been steady for several years while net migration has been fluctuating and in past years has caused significant spikes in the total growth rate. [4] Projections show the number of households and families are expected to continue to increase at least through 2026, further increasing the population. [4]
Figure 1 – Growth from migration and natural growth.
Figure 1 – Growth from migration and natural growth.

Figure 2 shows the population concentrations by region. Australia is one of the most urbanized countries with 89% of its population living in urban areas. These urban areas are concentrated mainly along the 22,826 miles of coastline of the country. Most of the countries growth occurs in two widely separated urban regions: the east/southeast coast near the metropolises of Sydney, Melbourne, and

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