Despite having a convict colony history, Australia’s homicide rate is 1.2 per 100,000 population compared to the 6.3 per 100,000 in the United States.
Three decades ago the average full time worker took home just under $19,000 a year in a time when the average house price was less than $150,000. Today annual earnings exceed $73,000 with the average house price in most capital cities exceeding $520,000.
Today’s Australia is very multicultural with Indigenous peoples and migrants from some 200 countries.
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world, occupying an entire continent of some 7.6 million square kilometres.
It is the only nation-continent of 23 million people in the world.
Australia is currently growing by 1 million people every 2 years – that’s an additional Adelaide every 2.5 years. It is growing faster (1.8% annually) than any other country in the OECD.
More than 80 percent of Australians live within 100 kilometres of the coast making Australia one of the world’s most urbanised coastal dwelling populations.
Over 200 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia including 45 Indigenous languages. The most common non-English spoken languages are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin.
Australia has the world’s highest proportion of migrant settlers in a developed nation. A quarter of Australians (27%) were born overseas and almost half of Australian households (46%) had at least one parent born overseas.
Australia Day today is a celebration of diversity and tolerance in Australian society, embracing all ethnic backgrounds, racial differences and political viewpoints.
Canberra was selected as the capital because Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing which city should be the capital of Australia.
Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902.
80 percent of Australians believe Australia has a strong culture and identity characterised by being down to earth, mateship, honesty, sports and multiculturalism.
The hold of the old White Australia Policy was broken by Gough Whitlam’s Labor Government which adopted a broader approach to citizenship and opening migration to Asia and the Middle East.