Australia (from the Latin. Austrālis - "southern"), the official form is the Australian Union or the Commonwealth of Australia - a state in the Southern Hemisphere that occupies the continent of the same name, the island of Tasmania and several other islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans; It is the sixth largest country in the world. East Timor, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are located north of the Australian Union, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands to the northeast, and New Zealand to the southeast. The shortest distance between the main island of Papua New Guinea and the mainland of the Australian Union is only 145 km, and the distance from the Australian island of Boigu to Papua New Guinea is only 5 km. The population at December 31, 2018 was estimated at 25,180,200 people, most of whom live in cities on the east coast.

Australia is one of the developed countries, being the thirteenth largest economy in the world, and has the sixth place in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Australia's military spending is the twelfth largest in the world. With the second largest human development index, Australia ranks high in many areas, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the G20, OECD, WTO, APEC, UN, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS and the Pacific Islands Forum.


The term "Australia" comes from lat. austrālis ("southern"). In colloquial speech of Australians, the word Oz is used to refer to Australia. The word Aussie is used to refer to the adjective "Australian" by Australians.

Legends about the Unknown Southern Land (Latin Terra Australis Incognita) - “unknown land in the south” - date back to the times of the Roman Empire and were a common occurrence in medieval geography, despite the fact that they were not based on any knowledge about the continent itself.

The earliest documented record of the use of the word “Australia” in English was written in 1625, “Information about Australia del Espiritu Santo, written by Master Hulklight” (English A note of Australia del Espíritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt) and published by Samuel Pourchas at Hakluytus Posthumus, where the Spanish name Australia del Espiritu Santo (Spanish: Australia del Espíritu Santo), given to an island in the New Hebrides archipelago, was distorted to “Australia”. The adjective "Australische" was also used by Dutch officials in Batavia (modern Jakarta) to refer to all of the southern lands newly discovered since 1638. The word "Australia" was used in the English-translated book of the French utopian writer Gabriel de Fouagni "The Adventures of Jacques Sader, his journey and discovery of the Astral Earth" (French Les Aventures de Jacques Sadeur dans la Découverte et le Voyage de la Terre Australe; 1676). For the entire South Pacific, this term is used by Alexander Dalrymple, a Scottish geographer, in his book An Historical Collection of Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean; 1771; . At the end of the 18th century, the term was used by botanists George Shaw and James Edward Smith to refer to the Australian continent in their book Zoology and Botany of New Holland (English Zoology and Botany of New Holland; 1793), as well as on a 1799 map belonging to James Wilson .