Australia is the world's sixth largest country by land area (7,692,024 square kilometers, excluding external territories), but is sparsely populated. 86.2 percent of the population of just over twenty million people lives in one percent of the land area of the continent. This is mostly near the east coast, with a smaller population concentration in the south-west corner. The average population density of the country is less than two people per square kilometer, which is very low compared to 26 people per square kilometer in the United States and 238 people per square kilometer in Britain. Australia, in the southern hemisphere, is the driest of the inhabited continents, with much of the country being classified as arid or semi-arid. Inland settlements are often based on ...

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