Ekonomiko-geographical description of Australia — страница 7

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decades.[72] Water restrictions are currently in place in many regions and cities of Australia in response to chronic shortages due to urban population increases and localised drought.[73] Economy The Super Pit in Kalgoorlie, Australia's largest open cut gold mine The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. After the 2006 merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange is now the 9th largest in the World.[74] Australia is one of the most laissez-faire free market economies, according to indices of economic freedom. Australia's per capita GDP

is slightly higher than that of the United States, UK, Germany, and France. The country was ranked second in the United Nations 2009 Human Development Index, first in Legatum's 2008 Prosperity Index, and sixth in The Economist worldwide Quality-of-Life Index for 2005. All of Australia's major cities fare well in global comparative liveability surveys;[75] Melbourne reached 2nd place on The Economist's 2008 World's Most Livable Cities list, followed by Perth at 4th, Adelaide at 7th, and Sydney at 9th.[76] An emphasis on exporting commodities rather than manufactures has underpinned a significant increase in Australia's terms of trade during the rise in commodity prices since the start of the century. Australia has a balance of payments that is more than 7% of GDP negative, and has

had persistently large current account deficits for more than 50 years.[77] Australia has grown at an average annual rate of 3.6% for over 15 years, a period in which the OECD annual average was 2.5%.[77] Australia did not fall into a technical recession during the late 2000s recession that affected most other Western countries [78] Destination and value of Australian exports in 2006 The Hawke Government floated the Australian dollar in 1983 and partially deregulated the financial system.[79] The Howard Government followed with a partial deregulation of the labour market and the further privatisation of state-owned businesses, most notably in the telecommunications industry.[80] The indirect tax system was substantially changed in July 2000 with the introduction of a 10% Goods

and Services Tax (GST), which has slightly reduced the reliance on personal and company income tax that characterises Australia's tax system. In January 2007, there were 10,033,480people employed, with an unemployment rate of 4.6%.[81] Over the past decade, inflation has typically been 2–3% and the base interest rate 5–6%. The service sector of the economy, including tourism, education, and financial services, accounts for 69% of GDP.[82] Although agriculture and natural resources account for only 3% and 5% of GDP respectively, they contribute substantially to export performance. Australia's largest export markets are Japan, China, the US, South Korea, and New Zealand.[83] Demography Historic population[84] Year Indigenous population pre 1788 350,000 approximate Year Non

Indigenous population Increase 1788 900 — 1800 5,200 477.8% 1850 405,400 7,696.2% Year Total population Increase 1900 3,765,300 — 1910 4,525,100 20.2% 1920 5,411,000 19.6% 1930 6,501,000 20.1% 1940 7,078,000 8.9% 1950 8,307,000 17.4% 1960 10,392,000 25.1% 1970 12,663,000 21.9% 1980 14,726,000 16.3% 1990 17,169,000 16.6% 2000 19,169,100 11.6% 2009 21,828,704 13.6% The Barossa Valley one of Australia's wine-producing regions in South Australia. Fewer than 15% of Australians live in rural areas. Most of the estimated 22million Australians are descended from colonial-era settlers and post-Federation immigrants from Europe, with almost 90% of the population being of European descent. For generations, the vast majority of both colonial-era settlers and post-Federation immigrants

came almost exclusively from the British Isles, and the people of Australia are still mainly of British or Irish ethnic origin. In the 2006 Australian Census, the most commonly nominated ancestry was Australian (37.13%),[85] followed by English (31.65%), Irish (9.08%), Scottish (7.56%), Italian (4.29%), German (4.09%), Chinese (3.37%), and Greek (1.84%).[86] Australia's population has quadrupled since the end of World War I,[87] spurred by an ambitious immigration program. Following World War II and through to 2000, almost 5.9million of the total population settled in the country as new immigrants, meaning that nearly two out of every seven Australians were born overseas.[88] Most immigrants are skilled,[89] but the immigration quota includes categories for family members and