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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: 22,710,197 (2012E). 22,485,300 (2011C)

Major Urban Centers (including suburbs, 2011E): CANBERRA (367,800), Sydney (4,610,000), Melbourne (4,170,000), Brisbane (2,150,000), Adelaide (1,260,000), Perth (1,830,000), Hobart (217,525), Darwin (129,100).

Official Language: English.

Monetary Unit: Australian Dollar (market rate November 5, 2012: 0.96 dollar = $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: Julia Eileen GILLARD (Australian Labor Party); sworn in June 24, 2010, succeeding Kevin Michael RUDD (Australian Labor Party); formed a minority government following the election of August 21 and was sworn in at the head of a reshuffled cabinet on September 14.

The Country

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