As a country and a continent in itself, Australia stands among the largest countries globally by area. The country is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and has of late looked to its east neighbors for foreign policy, a move seen as detachment from the Western powers including US and UK. Australia has the UK’s queen as the head of state, with a governor-general as the queen’s representative in the country. The territory is, therefore, a constitutional monarchy split into six states and territories, which form the national government. At the helm of the country’s executive is however the Prime Minister elected by universal suffrage for a six-year term. The present-day premier is Tony Abbott, sworn into office in 2013.
Australia has a particularly sturdy economy with impressive GDP and GDP per capita, all supported by the extensive service industry (accounting for more than 70 percent of the GDP)—the backbone of the economy. The strong economy is however also supported by robust agronomy and mineral mining industries, which highly addon to the GDP. Current estimates of the country’s GDP indicate that it stands at US $1.379 trillion. Such a high GDP puts Australia among the top economically performing nations in the world. With a population of about 23 million people, the nation also ranks among the highest in GDP per capita. Australia’s median wealth stood at US $219,500 for every adult in 2013, making it the highest in the world ahead of the second-placed Luxembourg, which had a median wealth of US $182,768. The high median wealth is also reflected in the country’s GDP per capita that stood at UD $37,228.20 in 2013. Australia’s GPD per capita is equal to more than 300 percent ofthe global average. Its average per capital stood at US $23,945.72 in the period covering between 1986 and 2012.
The country has experienced and continues to experience growth in its GDP. Over the last 30 years, Australia’s GDP growth rate has stood at 3.48 percent, with highs of as much as nine percent and lows of -3.40 percent. The growth in the GDP has particularly been occasioned by an increase in the number of people in employment in the country, increase in wages as well as longer working hours for part time workers. For that matter therefore, Australia stands as a country with an equitable income distribution. The growth in income in the country over the past decades has remained almost equitable for both the individuals above and below the US $219,500 median.
The bulk of the Australian population have different incomes, with difference in the incomes stark between full-time workers and part-time workers. On average however, the minimum wage in the country stands at 16.37 Australian Dollars per hour, with casuals getting an additional 24 percent to this minimum wage and therefore earn $20.30 per hour. In addition, the standard set for the length of the work week stands at 38 hours per week (this is an equivalent of 7.6 hours per day), lasting from Monday to Friday.
With such high GDP, GDP per capita and income distribution, as well as such high minimum wages, Australia has one of the world’s lowest poverty levels. The current poverty level stands at 11.8 percent. The low poverty levels put Australia among the world’s most equitable countries in terms of wealth distribution, median wealth as well as average wealth per adult.