Australian Immigration - Migrant Networking - Settlement Support

Australian Information

INFO ZONE : Facts & Figures

Central to any decision to move home will be three main concerns. These relate to the family’s health, the children’s education and the breadwinner’s income, and it is good to know that all three can be resolved effectively. The following overview will serve to illustrate this point.

Over 100,000 people come to Oz and make it their home every year, so Australia is a major immigration country. Approximately a quarter of its 20+ million people were born outside of Australia. Their countries of origin are diverse: they include the UK, China, Italy, Greece, India, Malaysia, South Africa but there are many others.

This influx of new citizens is needed as Australia’s population is ageing rapidly (the average age is 36 years and rising), and the birth rate is only 1.75 children per female, which is below that which is necessary. So a great deal of population growth will come from immigration, so this is expected to grow throughout the rest of this century.

As well as the safety & comfort, the low-cost, high-standard of living, and the comfortable lifestyle, Australia offers first-class education in all categories and age groups. From the earliest schools through to the Universities, teaching standards are top-class. The Australian education system is highly respected and recognized multi-nationally. University entry is always competitive and the academic standards required are very high. All universities are accepted as "accredited" and are closely monitored by the Australian Government which has an unusually strong commitment to the provision of top-quality higher education. 37 of the 39 universities in Australia are public institutions and are government funded.

There are opportunities for all nationalities. For North Americans looking to emigrate, Australia’s education system gives opportunities for students looking for academic challenges in an English-speaking school system that is compatible with their own. Such students can enroll in undergraduate and graduate award & degree programs, or one/two semester ‘study abroad’ programs specially to meet the needs of individual students.

These same high standards apply to the areas of medicine and medical care, with modern hospitals staffed by medical professionals, both in the public and private sector.

There are many sources of work in most areas of employment, and there is a very high probability of securing employment in all these areas. Indeed, almost nine in ten of skilled Independent visa holders gain employment within first 6 months and this rises to nineteen in twenty after 18 months.

This is almost entirely due to the growth in the Australian economy together with the shortage of skilled workers. So the Australian Government actively encourages skilled workers to live and work in Australia. As an illustration of this, over 200,000 work rights visas will have been made available in the three years ending in 2006.

Some facts for you.

The Commonwealth of Australia, to give it its full name, is a continent which covers an area of over 2,965.000 square miles, (7.7m. square kilometres) Ready for this? - Australia covers nearly 6% of the surface of the earth !!!

The capital of Australia is Canberra, in the state of Australian Capital Territory, one of two territories in Australia. There are a further six states. Oz has a population of nearly 20 million people, of which over 90% are of Caucasian origin, with less than 10% being Asian. The Aboriginal population makes up only 1% of the total population, contrary to common belief.

The spoken language in English, and the main religion is Christianity (Protestants & Roman Catholics.) Muslim & Buddhist faiths account for about 2%, and the Jewish faith makes up less than 1% of the population.

Australia has an arid to semi-arid climate, and the population lives mainly around the north, east and south-east coasts, with some on the south-west coast. The rest of the continent is big ‘billy-can’ country, and Alice Springs sure has a lot of courage, being almost smack in the middle of the desert. Actually, although the temperatures can range from over 40C during the summer days in January right through to well below zero overnight during the winter months of June-August, Alice actually boasts a superb climate of mostly warm days and cool nights all year round. Spring and autumn are - contrary to what you may expect - particularly pleasant with mild evenings and warm days in the mid-20C.

The northern third of Australia is tropical therefore it is warm or hot constantly. The rest of the country lies south of the tropics and has normal summers and winters. In winter, parts of the southern areas sometimes experience frosts. But the Alps and inland Tasmania are the only parts where it drops below freezing for more than one day at a time. These are the only parts that have snow

In the rest of the country it just rains seasonally, but the desert (forming about a third of the continent) receives less than 10 inches (25 cm) of rain a year. This means that it is too barren for the livestock grazing. Other areas have about double this amount of rainfall each year, but even this is not enough to grow crops without artificial irrigation. The north, east, southeast, and southwest coasts receive the heaviest rainfall as you would expect. In fact the wettest part of the continent is Queensland, along the east coast, sometimes as much as 150 inches (381 cms) in a year.

Being south of the equator, Australia’s seasons are opposite to countries such as North America and Europe, although northern Australia has only two seasons – a wet one and a dry one. In these parts, the wet season brings heavy rain and fierce stormy weather. This is only countered by the droughts that can be experienced by all parts of the country during their dry seasons.

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