Commonwealth of Australia

Political Status: Established as a federal state under democratic parliamentary regime in 1901.

Area: 2,966,136 sq. mi. (7,682,300 sq. km.).

Population: 19,855,288 (2006C); 21,320,000 (2008E). The 2006 figure is not adjusted for underenumeration, estimated at 1.9 percent in the 2001 census.

Major Urban Centers (including suburbs, 2006 census): CANBERRA (323,056), Sydney (4,119,190), Melbourne (3,592,591), Brisbane (1,763,131), Adelaide (1,105,839), Perth (1,445,078), Hobart (200,525), Darwin (105,991).

Official Language: English.

Monetary Unit: Australian Dollar (market rate December 1, 2009: 1.08 dollars = $1US).

Sovereign: Queen ELIZABETH II.

Governor General: Quentin BRYCE; formerly governor of Queensland; sworn into office September 5, 2008, replacing Maj. Gen. Michael JEFFERY.

Prime Minister: Kevin RUDD (Australian Labor Party); sworn in December 3, 2007, following the general election of November 24 2007, succeeding John Winston HOWARD (Liberal Party of Australia), ...

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