Australia is the world's thirteenth largest economy. Over the last two decades, Australia's economy has experienced positive reforms that have boosted its economy, and raised its standard of living. Australia is today riding the commodity boom, in particular signing massive contracts with China to feed the fastest growing large economy in the world with the raw materials and energy it so badly needs. Australia is a western-style market economy. The services sector is the largest, accounting for 71% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008. Although the agricultural and mining sectors are small, 4.7% of GDP combined, they contribute approximately 65% of exports. Australia is the thirteenth largest economy in the world. As of 2009, Australia GDP was estimated to be $920 billion. Australia has managed an impressive 18 years of continuous growth since 1992. Even during the Financial Crisis, Australia kept growing, managing 0.732% thanks to its commodity exports. Forecasts suggest growth will continue at least for the next five years, peaking at 3.4% in 2012. Indeed, being both a country and a continent, the only one in the world, Australia is a land of huge natural resources and beautiful coastlines. Being a land with enough variation in topography and sand, huge deposits of gold, iron, bauxite, manganese, opals and sapphires have been identified. Natural gas deposits are evenly spread throughout the continent. Given these factors, it is no wonder that the Australian economy is one of the strongest economies in the world and follows a laissez-faire policy. The country features an enviable per capita GDP of $37,302, slightly higher than that of the United States, UK, Germany and France, putting it in 15th position. This is partly due to the small Australian population of 22,495,961 (2010 estimates) in a large country. A majority of the population resides in the vicinity of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.
Sources: University World and Wikipedia