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Current Weather:
Alice Springs

Map: Australia

Population: 18,438,824 (July 1997 est.)

National capital: Canberra

Exchange rates: US$1 = 1.6026 Australian dollars (October, 1998)  

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US  

total: 7,686,850 sq km
land: 7,617,930 sq km
water: 68,920 sq km
note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island
lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
highest point: Mount Kosciusko 2,229 m

Coastline: 25,760 km  

Climate: generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north   

Natural hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe droughts  

Geography: world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; regular, tropical, invigorating, sea breeze known as "the Doctor" occurs along the west coast in the summer    

Ethnic groups: Caucasian 95%, Asian 4%, aboriginal and other 1%  

Religions: Anglican 26.1%, Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 24.3%

Languages: English, native languages