Why is Australia Underpopulated 1

Land of contrasts

Who would have thought: What began in 1788 with a British penal colony near Botany Bay on the Australian east coast has now grown into a wealthy and wealthy country.

But life is not pleasant everywhere. While the urban conurbations can offer every imaginable luxury, doctors and teachers flying in the outback have to be deployed to cover the basic medical and educational needs of the people.

City of Sydney © Aztech

Underpopulated, but urbanized, that is how the population situation in Australia could be summed up in a nutshell. Australia had 19,169,083 inhabitants in July of this year. Almost 85 percent of these people are city dwellers. Well over half live in the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide alone. The huge Northern Territory with an area of ​​1.3 million square kilometers, on the other hand, is shared by 140,000 inhabitants, the conditions here are too hostile and inhospitable.

The total area of ​​Australia is more than 20 times the size of Germany - in total, the national territory is almost 7.7 million square kilometers. The smallest continent is the sixth largest country on earth.

Nearly 95 percent of the population in the six states and two territories are white, most of them with British ancestry. This is the result of a sophisticated immigration policy that makes it almost impossible for blacks to obtain Australian citizenship. There are almost 300,000 Aborigines today, after their number had fallen to 40,000 in the meantime - around 1930. In addition, there are over 200,000 Asians in the country "down under".

The lowest point in the country, Lake Eyre in South Australia, is 15 meters below sea level. Mount Kosciuszko rises 2,244 meters further up in the “Great Dividing Range” on the east coast. The legendary Ayers Rock, the sacred mountain of the Aborigines, on the other hand, is only 340 meters high.

Climatic contrasts shape the country. The tropical-hot and humid north with rainforest and mangrove forests near the coast, the desert-like, extremely dry interior, the moderate climate of the southeast, only a few countries on earth are likely to have such a climatic diversity.

Bauxite, coal, iron ores, uranium, diamonds, natural gas and petroleum are some of Australia's most important mineral resources that have contributed significantly to the prosperity of the population. But agriculture, animal husbandry - especially sheep - also offer good sources of income. For every Australian there are more than seven sheep and 1.3 cattle.

The flora and fauna of Australia is unique. Countless species of marsupials such as kangaroos and koalas, archaic-looking egg-laying mammals such as platypus, but also emus and numerous reptile species can only be found here around the world. But the flora is also diverse, 500 species of eucalyptus trees alone, the main food of the koalas are represented in Australia.

Status: 09/26/2000

September 26, 2000