Ekonomiko-geographical description of Australia — страница 8

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refugees.[89] In 2001, the five largest groups of the 23.1% of Australians who were born overseas were from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam, and China.[83][90] Following the abolition of the White Australia policy in 1973, numerous government initiatives have been established to encourage and promote racial harmony based on a policy of multiculturalism.[91] In 2005–06, more than 131,000people emigrated to Australia, mainly from Asia and Oceania.[92] The migration target for 2006–07 was 144,000.[93] The total immigration quota for 2008–09 is around 300,000—its highest level since the Immigration Department was created after World War II.[94][95] Nearly three quarters of Australians live in metropolitan cities and coastal areas. The beach is an integral part

of the Australian identity.[96] The Indigenous population—mainland Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders—was counted at 410,003 (2.2% of the total population) in 2001, a significant increase from the 1976 census, which counted an indigenous population of 115,953.[97] A large number of Indigenous people are not identified in the Census due to undercount and cases where their Indigenous status is not recorded on the form; after adjusting for these factors, the ABS estimated the true figure for 2001 to be approximately 460,140 (2.4% of the total population).[98] Indigenous Australians experience higher than average rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education, and life expectancies for males and females that are 11–17 years lower than those of

non-indigenous Australians.[83][99][100] Some remote Indigenous communities have been described as having "failed state"-like conditions.[101][citation needed] In common with many other developed countries, Australia is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2004, the average age of the civilian population was 38.8 years.[102] A large number of Australians (759,849 for the period 2002–03)[103] live outside their home country. Language English is the national language.[104] Australian English is a major variety of the language. It has a unique accent and a small number of peculiar terms, some of which have found their way into other varieties of English. Australian English has less internal

dialectal variation than British or American English. Grammar and spelling are largely based on those of British English. According to the 2001 census, English is the only language spoken in the home for around 80% of the population. The next most common languages spoken at home are Chinese (2.1%), Italian (1.9%), and Greek (1.4%). A considerable proportion of first- and second-generation migrants are bilingual. It is believed that there were between 200 and 300 Indigenous Australian languages at the time of first European contact. Only about 70 of these languages have survived, and many are only spoken by older people; only 18 Indigenous languages are still spoken by all age groups.[105] An indigenous language remains the main language for about 50,000 (0.25%) people. Australia

has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 6,500 deaf people. Religion Australia has no state religion. In the 2006 census, 64% of Australians listed themselves as Christian, including 26% as Roman Catholic and 19% as Anglican. "No religion" (which includes humanism, atheism, agnosticism, and rationalism) accounted for 19% and is the fastest growing group (refer difference in census 2006 versus census 2001 results) and a further 12% declined to answer (the question is optional) or did not give a response adequate for interpretation. The second largest religion in Australia is Buddhism (2.1%), followed by Islam (1.7%), Hinduism (0.8%) and Judaism (0.5%). Overall less than 6% of Australians identify with non-Christian religions.[106] Weekly

attendance at church services in 2004 was about 1.5 million: about 7.5% of the population,[107] and religion does not play a central role in the lives of a large portion of the population.[108] Education School attendance is compulsory throughout Australia. In most Australian States at 5–6 years of age all children receive 11 years of compulsory education, then can move on to complete two more years (Years 11 and 12), contributing to an adult literacy rate that is assumed to be 99%. In the Programme for International Student Assessment, Australia regularly scores among the top five of thirty major developped countries (member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Government grants have supported the establishment of Australia's 38