Understanding Amazing Australia
Unpacking the Lucky Country
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world and uniquely, it is the only nation that governs a continent. It is the world’s 12th largest economy and the fourth largest economy in Asia. Australia is steadily ranked as one of the most advanced and strongest performing countries by OECD standards. Citizens and residents have been benefiting from a healthy economy and good living conditions for many decades. A big part of Australia’s high OECD ranking derives from its consistent performance in the key areas of health, wealth and general ease of living. As an example, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide rank time and again in the top 10 most livable cities of the world, while Melbourne has topped the list multiple times.
High Standards of Life
The high standard of living in the country is enabled by a number of variables, however being blessed with natural resources is a major contributor to the economic stability. Mining is a huge source of wealth and jobs. It has insulated the economy from major shocks like the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, during which the Australian economy remained strong in comparison to European nations and the rest of Asia Pacific.
Another factor contributing to Australia’s high living standard is its geography. As it is an enormous island, the country has no land neighbors. It enjoys a huge coastline and, in most areas, a tropical climate, which is comfortable almost all year round. A majority of Australians live no more than one hour away from the coast. The sea and beaches are a central part of Australian culture, which encourages a typically laidback lifestyle, many hours in the fresh air, enjoying the outdoors.
Tourism and Immigration
The appeal of Australian life makes the country a very popular tourist destination. It offers a combination of diverse and unique wildlife and landscapes, fascinating history and contemporary culture, international sporting events and many opportunities to kick back and relax. International students are also widely attracted to Australia, which hosts more foreign academic students than most countries in the world.
The immigration history of Australia goes way back. The first migration to the continent took place approximately 50 thousand years ago from Africa via Papua New Guinea and Maritime Southeast Asia.
Then came the migration from Europe in 1788, when British convicts were sent to settle in Sydney Cove. The 19th century gold rush attracted immigrants from Europe and Asia alike, and after World War II, hundreds of thousands of displaced European people came to Australia and more than one million British subjects immigrated under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. To this day, Australia is considered one of the most receptive to immigrants among western countries.
Australia is a democratic, politically stable and culturally diverse nation. In recent years it has enjoyed one of the strongest economies in the world. While it is a very young country in some senses, it has a rich and ancient history that goes back tens of thousands of years to the establishment of the Aboriginal communities. It is interesting to see the dialog between the old and the new, the ongoing assembly of the Australian tapestry.