Facts About Australia.

The following information will give you most of the facts about Australia you need to know.
They include population, sizes, temperatures, rainfall and dependencies and islands. If there is anything you think is missing let us know.

Where we live, and how many of us there are

A little over 200 years ago Australia was sparsely inhabited by the aboriginal people. In 1788 the first European settlers arrived in the First Fleet. From that small party we now have a population of around 25.5 million.

The September 2021 census showed there were 25,750,198 people in Australia on census night, an increase of 0.3% from the 2016 figures. Current figures will be found in the table below.
The population is ageing with an average age of 37 years (up from 34), with 14% (up from 12.1%) aged 65 years and over. Nearly 50% of people over 15 are married.
Of all people, 69.8% were Australian born and of those born elsewhere, 10.2% came from the United Kingdom. New Zealand, China, India or Italy, the remainder coming from Vietnam, Greece, the US and Germany. People of aboriginal descent increased from 352,970 in 2006 to 548,370. Of these, over half were counted in New South Wales and Queensland. In the Northern Territory the indigenous proportion of the population was nearly 27%.

In 2012, 8.2 million Australian residents travelled overseas. 7.8 million residents travelled abroad in 2011, and only 3.5 million residents travelled abroad in 2002.

The average weekly household income was $1,234 with median weekly rent of $285.00.
Around 40% of the occupied dwellings in Australia are owned by their occupants with 25.5% being purchased and 28.7% rented.
There are more women (50.6%) than men (49.4%) in all areas except the Northern Territory.
These figures were obtained from a news-sheet issued from the Bureau of Statistics home page. (See Below)

The figures below show persons living in the Australian States and Territories in August 2011. There is also a projected list from the Bureau of Statistics for the year 2050.
The Australia Population at the last census was 22,155.400.
The next census is due in August 2016.
STATE 1996 2001 2006 2011 2021 2050
ACT 308,000 314,171 324,034 356,586 430,500 483,000
NSW 6,204,000 6,532,459 6,549,177 6,917,658 8,186,800 8,446,000
NT 182,000 197,590 192,898 211,943 245,900 293,000
QLD 3,339,000 3.627.816 3,904,532 4,332,737 5,240,500 6,395,000
SA 1,474,000 1.502.397 1,514,337 1,596,570 1,772,800 1,610,000
TAS 475,000 470.272 476,481 495,351 541,965 650,000
VIC 4,561,000 4,828,968 4,932,422 5,354,040 6,643,100 5,250,000
WA 1,457,000 1,474,000 1,959,088 2,239,171 2,685,200 2,270,300
Link to Bureau of Statistics Home Page

ACT    Canberra  367,752
NSW    Sydney  4,667,283
NT    Darwin  131.678
QLD    Brisbane  2.189,878
SA    Adelaide  1,277,174
TAS    Hobart  216,969
VIC    Melbourne  4,246.345
WA    Perth  1,897,548
Rundle Mall Adelaide

Australia is the earth's largest island and its smallest continent (Excluding Antarctica).

The mainland comprises 5 states and 2 territories. The sixth state, Tasmania, is 200 kilometres south of Victoria and separated from the mainland by Bass Strait.
To the east, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands are governed from Australia, as is the Antarctic holding based around Mawson.
It is the driest continent on earth with around 1/3rd considered desert. It is approximately 3,700 km. long (north to south) and 4,000 kilometres wide.
The mainland section is roughly divided in the east by the Great Dividing Range which lies inland from the eastern seaboard and runs from the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland to Melbourne in Victoria. Included in the range is Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciusko (2,229 metres) near the New South Wales-Victoria border in the snow capped alpine region of the Great Dividing Range.
West of the dividing range the land is mainly flat with a few low ranges including the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs.
The centre of the continent is mainly desert and sparsely populated. Around 80% of the Australian population lives within the eastern seaboard or the coastal fringes of the continent.
Massive salt lakes, often dry for long periods, will be found in the mid-north of South Australia and these are fed by a large river system which carries water for hundreds of kilometres to fill them. The largest of these, Lake Eyre (9,475 sq km.), was filled in 2010, 2011 and still holds water in 2012. Once a rare event, the centre of Australia is currently an oasis attracting large numbers of birds and providing prolific food for stock. What water does not evaporate from these lakes is fed into the Central Australian Artesian Basin, a vast natural underground series of aquifers from which occasional springs bubble in the most remote desert areas, and from which Alice Springs draws its water supply.

The figures below show the area, coastline and border length of all Australian states and the islands off their shores.
STATE Total mainland
Area (sq km.)
Coastline (km) Borders (km)
Australia 7,659,861 32,163 59,736 N/A
A.C.T Canberra 2,358 none none 327
New South Wales 800,628 14 2,137 4,635
Northern Territory 1,335,742 13,387 10,953 3,179
Queensland 1,723,936 6,712 13,347 3,339
South Australia 978,810 4,672 5,067 3,185
Tasmania 64,519 3,882 4,882 none
Victoria 227,010 406 2,512 2,541
Western Australia 2,526,786 3,089 20,781 1,862

External Territories are those remote from the mainland Australia and governed by it.
TERRITORY Total Area (sq km.)
Australian Antarctic Territory 6,100,000
Coral Sea Islands Territory 780,000
Territory of Heard and MacDonald Islands 370
Christmas Island 135
Macquarie Island (Administered by Tasmania) 128
Norfolk Island 35
Lord Howe Island (Administered by N.S.W.) 15
Cocos (Keeling) Islands 14
Ashmore and Cartier Islands 2

Australia Map
The Antarctic Division at Kingston in Tasmania administers our Antarctic Territories.

Some of the highest, lowest, oddest and interesting facts about Australia.
  • Highest Mountain: Mainland: Mount Kosciuszco 2,229 metres. The highest point is Mawson Peak on Heard Island at 2,754 m.
  • Australia is the lowest continent in the world with an average of only 330 metres...and the lowest point is Lake Eyre in South Australia at 15 m. below sea level.
  • The most southerly mainland point is South Point, on Wilson's Promontory south of Melbourne. South East Point in Tasmania is the most southerly point of the main continent excluding the Antarctic.
  • The longest river is the Murray River and its tributary the Darling River, which joins it at Wentworth in the south-west corner of New South Wales. Together totalling 3,370 km. their drainage basin comprises more then 1 million square kilometres or around 14% of Australia.
  • The largest state is Western Australia with an area of over 2.5 million square kilometres. The largest island is Australia itself, followed by Tasmania, but offshore the largest is Melville Island of 5,786 sq km. near Darwin.
  • The smallest state is Tasmania.
  • The hottest temperature recorded in Australia was 53 degrees celsius at Cloncurry in Queensland in 1889.
  • The coldest temperature recorded was at Charlottes Pass in the snowfields of the Great Dividing Range near Mt. Kosciuszko of -23 degrees celsius in 1994.
  • The highest rainfall ever in Australia was 907mm. of rain at Crohamhust in Queensland on February 1893. The highest average rainfall recorded was at Bellenden Ker in Queensland where 11,251 mm. fell in 1979.
  • The driest place in Australia is Lake Eyre with an average annual rainfall of less than 125mm.
  • The most extreme range of temperature has been recorded at White Cliffs, an opal mining centre in Western New South Wales with extremes of 57.2 degrees between below-zero winter nights and hot summer days.

Some of the material on this page has been obtained from Geoscience Australia
Geoscience Australia Home Page


  • Commonwealth of Australia - Golden Wattle - (Acacia pycnantha)
  • Australian Capital Territory - Royal Bluebell - (Wahlenbergia gloriosa)
  • New South Wales - Waratah - (Telopea speciosissima)
  • Northern Territory - Sturt's Desert Rose - (Gossypium sturtianum)
  • Queensland - Cooktown Orchid - (Dendrobium phalaenopsis)
  • South Australia - Sturt's Desert Pea - (Swainsona formosa)
  • Tasmania - Tasmanian Blue Gum - (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Victoria - Common Heath - (Epacris impressa)
  • Western Australia - Mangles' Kangaroo Paw - (Anigozanthos manglesii)

For Further Information

See the Australian Flora Page
See the Australian Fauna Page
See the Australian Flags Page
Australian of the year Recipients