From Million Dollar Wiki
Here are some fast facts about our corner of the planet to keep you amused while we build our MDW page.
- 7.6 million square kilometres (only slightly smaller than the United States)
- the only country which encompasses an entire continent
- the world's 6th largest country
- the world's smallest and flatest continent
- the world's most arid inhabited continent, and the least fertile soils
- total land under cattle ranching over 30,000 square km (about the size of Belgium)
- derived from the Latin "Australis" ("of the South") or "Terra Australis Incognito" ("Unknown Southern Land")
- first colonised by Europeans 200 years ago, but first occupied by hunter-gather Indigenous peoples from South East Asia as much as 45,000 years ago, with likely brief incursions from Indonesia as much as 70,000 years ago
- life expectancies from birth: males 78, females 84
- 40 percent of Australia's English speakers were convicts when transportation ended in 1868, and in 2007 it is estimated 20% of all Australians have a convict ancestor
- inflation sits between 2-3%
- interest rates between 5-6%
- unemployment a little under 5%
- second country in the world to give women the right to vote
- from the population of 21 million, more than 4 million speak a second language
- the day of the Melbourne Cup is a public holiday in the state of Victoria. Yes, that's a horse race.
- despite having 0.4% of the world's population, we have 20% of the world's poker machines
- less than 0.02% of our land mass is under mining, which accounts for 15% of our GDP. More than 0.02% of our land mass is occupied by "pubs".
- in 1954, Robert James Hawke achieved note in the Guiness Book of World Records for completing 2.5 pints of beer in just 11 seconds. In 1983 he became Prime Minister of Australia.
- the average Australian swallows 3 spiders per year. Why is this important? It's a common question asked of new arrivals by Immigration.
We might have made that last one up.