Population of Japan 2014

population-of-japan-2014Population of Japan 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rates, and the population of 2013, the current population of Japan is estimated to be about 127,052,765. As a result, Japan is the tenth-most populous country in the world, behind Russia, but ahead of Mexico. Japan is one of the few larger countries that is experiencing a population decline instead of a population increase. At the end of 2013, the population was estimated to be about 127,143,577. Therefore, since the end of 2013, there has been a decline of about 91,000 people. The decline in population mainly comes as a result of the age of the population. There is a large portion of the population that is over the age of 65 years. In 2013, around 24% of the population was over the age of 65 years. Based on the population and the land area, the population density of Japan is about 336.17 people per square kilometer or 870.67 people per square mile.

Geography of Japan

Japan is made up of 6,852 islands, which in total are known as the Japanese archipelago and which stretch along the Pacific coast of East Asia. The main islands are the following: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Another large group of Japanese islands is known as the Ryukyu Islands. Honshu is the largest island and is typically known as the mainland of the country. Overall, over 70% of the land is deemed as unsuitable for living due to the high concentrations of forests and mountains. As a result, the remaining areas that are suitable for living are quite dense in terms of population. Because the island has 108 active volcanoes, many earthquakes and tsunamis occur as a result. The most recent earthquake was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which resulted in a tsunami afterwards, on March 11, 2011.

Climate of Japan

The islands of Japan are divided into six climate zones: Hokkaido, Sea of Japan, Central Highland, Seto Inland Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Ryukyu Islands. Hokkaido is the most northern region and is characterized by its humidity. It has long and cold winters, but very warm summers. The region does not receive an abnormal amount of rain, but it does receive a heavy amount of snow in the winter. The Sea of Japan region is along the western coast of Honshu. The region receives heavy snowfall during the winter and mainly cool temperatures in the summer. However, hot temperatures in this region during the summer come as a result of foehn wind. The Central Highland region is characterized by its humidity. There is a large difference between temperatures during the summer and winter, along with differences between day and night. Despite the low levels of precipitation, winters receive much snow.
Due to the mountains in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions, there is mild weather all year in the Seto Inland Sea region. The Pacific Ocean region experiences humid and subtropical climates. The winters are fairly mild, but the summers are hot and humid. The last region, the Ryukyu Islands, experience a subtropical climate. The winters are fairly warm, but their winters are hot. There is a high level of precipitation along with a high level of humidity. This climate is what results in the beautiful blooming of the spring cherry blossoms and the fall colors of leaves, which are typically portrayed in artwork. Overall, the average temperature in Japan is 41.2°F. The average summer temperature, though, is 77.4°F. Lastly, typhoon season is in the end of summer and the beginning of the fall.

Economy of Japan

The Japanese economy is ranked as the third largest in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product, the fourth largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity, and is the second largest developed economy. The currency is the Japanese Yen. The agricultural sector of the economy makes up only 1.4% of the total GDP, which may be because only 12% of the land is suitable for farming. The sector is highly regulated by the government, evident through the 777.7% tariff on rice imports. Some major agricultural imports include wheat and soybeans. The service sector in Japan accounts for about 75% of its total economy. As of 2013, it was home to almost 13% of the Forbes Global 2000. In 2012, Japan was the fifth most visited country in Asia and the Pacific. In fact, 2013 blew the number of visitors of 2012 out of the water, totaling 11.25 million visitors. Lastly, as of January 30, 2014, the unemployment rate in Japan is 3.7%, which showed a 0.3% decrease from November 2013.

Health Care in Japan

Japan has a universal health care system through which every citizen can receive care. Having health insurance is mandatory, despite the fact that there is no penalty for not having it. Around 10% of the population does not have health insurance. The government regulates all of the medical fees, preventing the facilities from overcharging or making a profit. All hospitals and health care facilities are run as non-profits. Depending on a person or family’s income, a person/family is either responsible for 10%, 20%, or 30% of the medical costs. The government pays the other portion of the costs. Some health concerns in Japan include the high suicide rates, smoking, and pollution. Suicide is the leading cause of death for those citizens under the age of 30. 65% of the suicides were as a result of job loss. Some other factors include social pressure and depression. Despite these health concerns, Japanese women have the second highest life expectancy of any other country in the world. Lastly, according to the United Nations, Japan has the third lowest infant mortality rates.

Education in Japan

The literacy rate of Japan is 99%, which came as a result of the essential role that education has played in Japanese society, especially since the end of World War II. Education is required from ages 6 to 15, which include elementary and lower secondary schools. In the junior school (lower secondary), the students study the Japanese language, social studies, mathematics, science, music, fine arts, health, and physical education. They also encourage learning foreign languages, especially English. In 2005, about 94% of junior high school graduates attended high school. There are universities and colleges that students can attend after high school. In fact, as of 2010, over 2.8 million students were attending a college or university. Lastly, as of 2011, 33 of Japan’s universities ranked in the Top 100 Asian Universities.

Japanese Population Risking Extinction

population-of-japan-2014-transportationTransportation in Japan

Japan has approximately 1.2 million kilometers of paved roads. The road network throughout the country is considered to be the main form of transportation. Despite this fact, only about 50% of the distance traveled in Japan is taken by cars or roads. Another large part of Japanese transportation is its railway and train system. Japan has over 250 high-speed trains, which are known for their safety and timeliness. Also, there are 173 airports, one of which, Haneda Airport, is the second busiest airport in all of Asia and the largest airport in Japan. Lastly, Nagoya Port accounts for 10% of Japan’s trade and is the largest and busiest port in the country.

Population of Mexico 2014

population-of-mexico-2014Population of Mexico 2014

Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the current population of the United Mexican States is estimated to be about 123,278,559. The Mexican population makes up about 1.71% of the entire world’s population and ranks 11th in population rankings, behind Japan, but ahead of the Philippines. However, because of the rate that Mexico’s population is growing and the rate that Japan is decreasing, it will not be long before Mexico overtakes it in the population rankings. Mexico is the second-most populous country in North America, behind the United States, but ahead of Canada. At the end of 2013, the population was 122,332,399. Therefore, since the start of 2014, there has been an approximate growth of 946,160 people, or a growth rate of about 0.77%. Based on the total population and the total area, the population density of Mexico is estimated to be about 62.5 people per square kilometer or 161.87 people per square mile.

Geography of Mexico

Mexico is made up of thirty-one individual and sovereign states, each of which has its own constitution and government. However, they all fall under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Federal government. Mexico is located in North America to the south of the United States and to the north of Central America. Its total land area, 1,972,550 square kilometers or 761,606 square miles, make it the 14th largest country in terms of land area. The Rio Grande determines the northern border of Mexico with the United States and the borders between Guatemala and Belize determine the southern borders of Mexico. Mexico is made up of two mountain rages: Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental. The Sierra Nevada, which is also known as the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, crosses through the center of the country. Lastly, the highest point in Mexico is the Pico de Orizaba, which reaches 5,700 meters or 18,701 feet.

Mexican Government

Mexico is a federation with a representative, democratic, and republican government. The Mexican Constitution was ratified in 1917 and established the three levels of government: the Federal Union, state governments, and municipal governments. The Federal Union is broken up into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The President of the United Mexican States, currently Enrique Pena Nieto, who has veto power over laws passed by the legislative branch and is the commander-in-chief of the Mexican military, heads the Executive Branch. The Legislative Branch is a bicameral Congress, composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Congress makes laws, declares war, establishes taxes and the budget, and approves any diplomatic appointment. The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 300 deputies, while the Senate is made up of 128 Senators. The Judicial Branch is the Supreme Court of Justice, which has eleven judges that the President appoints. Lastly, the three major political parties in Mexico are the National Action Party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, and the Party of the Democratic Revolution. The current President is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Mexican Economy

Mexico is considered to have the 14th largest nominal Gross Domestic Product and the 10th largest Gross Domestic Product by Purchasing Power Parity. As a result, it is considered to be an upper middle-income economy and country. However, despite this economic status, the number of people living in poverty has increased. From 2006 to 2010, the number of people that were considered to be in moderate or extreme poverty increased from 35% to 46% of the population. In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked Mexico second in the economic disparity between the rich and the poor. Mexico has the second largest electronics industry in the world and it also produces more automobiles than any other North American nation.

Transportation in Mexico

Mexico contains 366,095 kilometers or 227,481 miles of roads, but only 116,802 kilometers or 72,577 miles are paved. However, despite the large difference in unpaved and paved roads, Mexico has the largest paved-road network in Latin America. The Secretary of Communications and Transport had proposed and started a high-speed train project, which was projected to cost about $25 billion. The train is supposed to connect Mexico City to Guadalajara. Lastly, Mexico has 233 airports, but 35 have about 97% of the total passenger traffic. Mexico City International Airport is the largest Latin American airport and the 44th largest airport in the world.

Mexican Cuisine

Due to the various early setters in the region, current Mexican cuisine has received influences from many different cultures, especially Columbia and Spain. In general, Mexican food tends to include rice, beef, maize, avocado, chili pepper, beans, and many other ingredients. However, due to geographical and climate differences, each region has its own specialty. Northern Mexico is known for beef, goat, and ostrich dishes. Central Mexico is known for carnitas and tamales. Southeastern Mexico typically makes spicy vegetable and chicken dishes. Lastly, in the regions near the Pacific Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, seafood dishes tend to be very popular.

Demographic Challenge in Mexico

Health Care in Mexico

Since the start of the 21st century, Mexico has taken many steps in improving its health care system. In December of 2006, the government established Health Insurance for a New Generation, which essentially granted insurance to babies. In May of 2009, the government established Universal Health Care for Pregnant Women. Then, in 2012, the entire United Mexican States established a universal healthcare system. Because of the universal healthcare system, health care is either completely free or subsidized for all citizens, if they choose to use the public health system. Typically, a visit to the doctor’s office will cost $25 and a night’s stay in a hospital will cost $30. Private hospitals and private insurance policies still exist and can be used if a person is willing to pay for it. In fact, private facilities account for 13% of the country’s total facilities. Lastly, 97% of the population has access to potable water and 90% of the country has access to sanitized water.

population-of-mexico-2014-education

Education in Mexico

Education in Mexico has three main stages, two of which are considered compulsory: primary, junior high school, and high school. Primary school is made up of grades one through six. Some primary schools are bilingual, helping the students master another prominent language. The Spanish word for “school”, escuela, describes primary school. Junior high school is grades seven through nine. During this portion of schooling, students are introduced to specific topics such as Chemistry or World History. High school, which is not mandatory for students, is grades ten through twelve. During the first few semesters, the students take a common curriculum. However, near the end of the program, students can take specialized electives, such as philosophy or economics. Students can also enter into a vocational training program to train them for skilled labor jobs in the market. Lastly, only about 23% of Mexican youth (ages 23-35 years) have an undergraduate degree from a college or university.

Population of North America 2014

population-of-north-america-2014Population of North America 2014

Based on population expectancies and the estimated population of 2013, the population of North America is projected to reach an estimate of 533,215,000 in the year 2014. As a result, North America remains as the fourth-most populous continent in the world, behind Asia, Africa, and Europe. North America is made up of twenty-three independent states, nine internationally recognized dependent territories, and fourteen other areas, including Greenland, which is a constituent country of Denmark (European nation). The most populous country in North America is the United States of America, which more than doubles the population of the second-most populous country in North America, Mexico. The least populous country in North America is Montserrat, which is a dependent territory of the United Kingdom. The least populous sovereign state in North America is Saint Kitts and Nevvis, which is also the smallest sovereign state in terms of land area and size. The smallest state, including dependent territories, is Saba, a dependent territory of the Netherlands.

Language in North America 2014

There are three major languages spoken throughout North America: English, Spanish, and French. Canada’s official languages are both French and English, making it bilingual. The various provinces throughout Canada have adopted either language as their official language and sometimes both. While there is no official language of the United States of America, English tends to be the most widely spoken language, especially in the workforce and education sector. However, the state of Louisiana deems French as an official language. But, due to the large number of immigrants throughout the country, various languages, including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and many others, are also spoken frequently, depending on the location. Latin America, generally indicating the territory south of the United States, most frequently speaks Spanish and Portuguese. The official language of Mexico is considered to be Spanish. Lastly, Belize is not always considered to be a part of Latin America. In fact, the official language of Belize is English.

Geography of North America

There are four major regions of North America: the Great Plains, the mountainous west, the plateaus of the Canadian Shield in the northeast, and the eastern region, which contains various geographic features. The Great Plains extend from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian Arctic. The mountainous west includes the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, California, and Alaska. Lastly, the eastern region includes things such as the Appalachian Mountains, the Florida peninsula, and even the coastal plains along the Atlantic coast. Mexico is considered to be a part of the western region, despite part of its geographic location in the east.
The boundaries of the continent are sometimes debated, especially in regards to the southern boundary. The West Indies is traditionally always considered to be a part of North America. Also, despite the fact that Greenland is a constituent country of Denmark, its geographic location lies within the boundaries of North America, and so it is traditionally considered as part of North America. The only land connection that North American and South American have is the Isthmus of Panama. Many people declare that this is the boundary between the two continents. However, some people say that the boundary is at the Darien watershed on the border between Colombia and Panama, which would make the entire country of Panama in the North American continent, instead of partially in North America and partially in South America. Lastly, some people say that the most southern point of North America is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

On December 17, 1992, Present George H.W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and Mexican President Carlos Salinas met in San Antonio, Texas in order to sign the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, the proposed agreement needed to be authorized and approved by each nation’s legislature. Clinton, who won the 1992 Presidential Election, came into office in the midst of the negotiations. But, after adding a couple subsequent agreements, the United States Congress approved the bill. Thus, Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993. The main purpose of this agreement between the North American nations was to eliminate most of the barriers to trade and investment. The bill worked to slowly remove the trade barriers over the course of the next ten years between the United States and Mexico. There have been some restrictions on the trade of agricultural goods between the countries, however. The bill also helped create more jobs in the countries, along with allowing some immigrants a legal way to work in the United States. Lastly, the agreement included the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, which established the Commission for Environmental Cooperation to help negate the concerns of the negative impact the agreement would have on the environment.

population-of-north-america-2014-highwayTransportation in North America 2014

There currently exists one highway system between the continents: the Pan-American Highway. The Pan-American Highway is made up of 30,000 miles of roads, extending from Alaska down into South America. However, the North American portion of the highway is only 16,000 miles long. Although the roads in Canada are not officially a part of the Pan-American Highway, they still connect and travel throughout the continent. Also, on May 10, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States of America was completed. The final spike was placed at the Promontory Summit, Utah, establishing a transportation system, which helped advance and further the American economy. The economy no longer had to rely on wagon trains for transportation, but could now use the railroad network to travel from the eastern coast of the United States to California.

North American Fox

North American Climate 2014

There are five major climate regions in North America: the Arctic zone, the cool temperate zone, the warm temperate zone, the tropical humid zone, and the dry zone. The Arctic Zone consists of the northern parts of the Canadian Shield and Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and Greenland. The only months that the temperatures may rise above freezing are June to September. Despite only receiving, on average, 2 to 4 inches of precipitation, the Arctic Zone may receive 30 to 60 inches of snow. The cool temperate zone consists of the regions from Newfoundland to Alaska and from the Hudson Bay to the Ohio River. The temperatures in this region range from average lows from -80°F to average highs of more than 50°F. Average precipitation ranges from 15 to 35 inches per year, and the most precipitation occurs during the summer and fall seasons.

The warm temperate zones include the southeast coast of the United States and the American Southwest. The southeast, along with its warm average temperatures, has an average of about 40 to 60 inches of rainfall every year. Hurricanes are a large hazard to these climate regions due to their location near the Gulf of Mexico. The American Southwest experiences averages around 15 to 30 inches of rainfall, but accompanied with high evaporation rates, making it hard to sufficiently grow crops during the summer. The tropical humid climate mainly includes Central America. This climate region experiences average temperatures above 64°F and under 82°F. The average rainfall per year is around 45 to 80 inches. This region also experiences dangerous hurricanes. Lastly, the dry climate region makes up around a third of the continent, including high altitudes in the Arctic regions and certain parts of the American Southwest. This region is plagued by a lack of rainfall, receiving, on average, less than 10 inches per year.

Population of Asia 2014

population-of-asia-2014Asian Population 2014

Based on the most recent population growth trends, the population of Asia is estimated to be 4,426,683,000 compared to 4,299,000,000 in 2013. Asia consists of 49 countries, 6 countries that are either partially recognized or unrecognized, and 6 countries that are dependent on other countries. In fact, it is the largest continent of Earth, covering about 8.8% of the total surface area. It covers 44,579,000 square kilometers, which is about 30% of the Earth’s land area. The most populated country in Asia is the People’s Republic of China with an estimated population 1.35 billion people. The least populated country is the Republic of Maldives with an estimated population of about 330,000 in 2012. The largest country in terms of area is the Russian Federation with about 17.1 million square kilometers. The smallest country in terms of area is also the Republic of Maldives with a bout 298 square kilometers.

Asian Geography 2014

Throughout the course of history, the boundaries of Asia have been disputed, especially due to the enlargement of the Russian Federation throughout history. However, the current boundaries are as follows: east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, west of the Pacific Ocean, north of the Indian Ocean, and south of the Arctic Ocean. There are two countries that are partly in Europe as well: Russia and Turkey. The Asian portion of Russia is all of the land to the east of the Ural Mountains. The Asian portion of Turkey consists of mainly Anatolia, separated by the Sea of Marmara, the Dardanelles, and the Bosphorus.
Asia is traditionally split up into six regions: Central Asia, Western Asia, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia, and Southeastern Asia. Central Asia is made up of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. Western Asia (otherwise known as the Middle East) is made up of Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Southern Asia is made up of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhustan, Bangladesh, and Iraq. Eastern Asia is made up of China, Hong Kong, Macao, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Southeastern Asia is made up of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste.

Central Asia 2014

Central Asia extends from the Caspian Sea to China (west to east) and from Afghanistan to Russia (south to north). This region is made up of a diverse selection of geographical features. One in particular is that it contains desert regions, including the Gobi desert. In fact, it contains the world’s northernmost desert, which is located in Mongolia. It also contains a few mountain ranges, including the Great Khinghan and Tian Shan Mountains. Part of Central Asia is made up of grassy steppes, which extend into Europe, and are a part of the Eurasian Steppe. However, overall, most of the region is dry and rugged. Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Central Asia. Also, the major language spoken in these Central Asian countries is Russian. However, there are many local languages spoken in each country. For example, Turkmen, a language derived from Turkish, is spoken in Turkmenistan, and Kazakh is spoken in Kazakhstan.

Western Asia 2014

Western Asia is not only hope to many prolific cultures today, but it is also considered to be the home of the world’s earliest civilizations. It is bordered on the north with Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Mountains and is surrounded by seven seas: the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Overall, the area tends to be arid and frequently experiences droughts. However, its land is made up of forests, fertile valleys, grasslands, deserts, and mountains. The land’s most important source of irrigation is the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The largest economy in this region is Turkey, and the largest industry in this region is petroleum.

Southern Asia 2014

Southern Asia is bordered by the Indian Ocean on the South and the other regions of Asia on all other sides. The main part of the region is made up of the peninsula India. However, its geographical features include rainforests, deserts, glaciers, and grasslands as well. Other than the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea also border this region. The Himalaya Mountain Range run along the northern border of the region. Because of the location of the mountains, the temperatures stay fairly moderate throughout the year. The two major languages spoken in this region are Hindi and Bengali. Lastly, the three major religions in this region are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

Eastern Asia 2014

Eastern Asia makes up about 28% of the geographical size and 38% of the population of the entire continent. In fact, this region is also geographically larger than Europe. The largest city in the world, Tokyo, Japan, is located in this region of the continent. The largest cultural influence for this region is said to be Northern China, bringing Confucian philosophy and political and other religious philosophies as well.

population-of-asia-2014-southeastSoutheastern Asia 2014

Southeastern Asia is the region of the continent south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea, and north of Australia. The Malay Archipelago, located in the Philippines, is considered to be one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Many large mountains, including Hkakabo Razi and Mount Kinabalu, also characterize the region. For the most part, the region tends to be tropical and humid throughout the year. Due to the tropical climate, there are wet and dry seasons, which are made worse due to monsoons. The region contains three endangered species of tigers: the Sumatran Tiger, the Malayan Tiger, and the Indochinese Tiger. Lastly, the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, occupies Indonesian islands in this region.

Asian Climate 2014

Since Asia is the largest continent on Earth, it makes sense that it also has the widest variety of climate. Siberia, in the northern part of Asia, has some of the coldest temperatures in all of the Northern Hemisphere. In contrast, though, the southeastern portion of the country experiences tropical weather and temperatures. Many of the drastic climate changes are due to the large bodies of water surrounding the continent. Monsoons surround the continent, causing severe winds across the countries. During the winter, these monsoon winds blow from the North into East Asia, which is the cause of the bitterly cold and dry weather in the winters. However, the winds change direction in the summer and affect the countries in the south and southeastern portion of the continent. These winds cause the hot and humid weather due to the monsoon winds from the seas below the continent.

Religion in Asia 2014

Asia is the home and birthplace of most of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and many others. Judaism originated in West Asia and is still primarily practiced there, specifically Israel. Christianity is the main religion practiced in places like the Philippines and East Timor due to the influence of Spain and Portugal. Also, Eastern Orthodoxy is practiced in Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, and Russia. Islam, originating in Saudi Arabia, is now the largest and most widespread religion in all of Asia. Asia contains 12.7% of the world’s Muslim population. Hinduism is largely practiced in Southeast Asia, specifically India and Nepal. In fact, over 80% of those countries’ populations practice Hinduism. Lastly, Buddhism is highly practiced in Southeast and East Asia, specifically Cambodia and Thailand, where over 95% of their populations practice Buddhism.

Asia’s Growing Population

Population of Australia 2014

population-of-australia-2014Population of Australia 2014

The estimated population for 2014 of the Australian continent is about 36.25 million people. It is considered to have one of the lowest population densities in the entire world, approximately 2.8 people per square kilometer. The Australian continent is made up of Commonwealth of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Timor, West Papua, and Papua. Though some typically may think so, New Zealand is actually not a part of the continent. The largest portion of the population of the continent comes from the Commonwealth of Australia. Some other names that the continent is known by are Sahul, Australinea, and Meganesia. The five most populous cities of the continent are in the Commonwealth of Australia: Sudney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. Each of these cities has a population of at least over 1 million inhabitants.

Geography of Australia 2014

Australia is considered to be the smallest continent, occupied by people, in geographic size. The continent is made up of only 3,310,000 square miles. People sometimes refer to it as an island continent, since the majority of its land is made up of the island of the Commonwealth of Australia. In fact, out of the 3.31 million square miles of the whole continent, the Commonwealth of Australia makes up 2.941 million square miles, a large majority of the total land mass. The large size of the island allows for various geographic features. The northeast is characterized by subtropical rainforests. Also, off the northeast coast of the island is the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef. In the southeast, southwest, and eastern portions of the island, there are quite a few mountains and mountain ranges. One of these mountains is Mount Kosciuzko, the highest mountain of the Australian mainland, reaching 7,310 feet. This mountain is a part of the Great Dividing Range that runs along the eastern coast of the island. The land is typically dry and is considered to be the flattest continent in the world.

The Commonwealth of Australia is broken up into six states: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Also, there are two larger territories, known as the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Tasmania is the only state without one of the top five most populous cities. The major city of New South Wales is Sydney, of Victoria is Melbourne, of Queensland is Brisbane, of Western Australia is Perth, and of Southern Australia is Adelaide.

Australian Education 2014

Education is a very important part of the human development of every Australian citizen. It is required to attend school or attend home school in all parts of Australia. However, the individual states actually regulate and manages the schools in the states. Even though the overall areas are similar, the states also decide what curriculum to be taught in the schools. Required schooling lasts until an individual is 16 years old. However, when a student reaches 16, they have the option of attending a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program or a Technical and Further Education System (TAFE). VET is intended to help educate people in certain skills and techniques for careers and jobs that do not need a degree. Even though each state regulates and manages these programs, if a student has been VET certified for a certain career in one state, he or she is allowed to use such certification in another state as well. Most of the universities in Australia are government-funded. The oldest university, founded in 1850, is the University of Sydney. Despite the fact that Australia is deemed to be one of the most expensive places to attend a university, it also ranks having one of the highest graduation rates amongst countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Overall, the country tends to score in the top five of thirty developed countries.

Australian Health Care 2014

Since 1975, Australia has achieved universal health care coverage, which is known as Medicare, which has helped them have the fourth highest life expectancy in the world. Any citizen, permanent resident, visitor, people with temporary visas from countries with arrangements with Australia, and even students studying abroad in the country all receive health care coverage in Australia. Many people that are not eligible for Medicare can still receive some form of assistance and help through non-governmental organizations, like the Australian Red Cross. Also, organizations like the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care exist in order to ensure that health-care standards are high. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is the agency that makes the regulations and standards for general practice.

Most of the coverage for health care comes from tax revenue, mainly by a levy tax of about 1.5%. If a person prefers to attend a private practice, he or she may have to pay out of pocket for the difference between the subsidized health care cost (cost at a public health care facility) and what the provider charges. However, both the federal and the state government provide most of the funding for the health care system. About 71% of the funding comes from the governments. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is the agency that takes care of reimbursing pharmacists for the cost of the medications that they prescribed. There is a certain list and type of medications that the PBS will cover. The sponsor of the drug/medication is who sets the price of the specific medication. If a certain drug will cost over $10 million annually, the government must approve of the coverage of the drug.

 population-of-australia-2014-cuisineAustralian Cuisine 2014

Indigenous Australians, the oldest indigenous civilization known to man, has been a large influence on the modern cuisine of Australia. The general term for any sort of food, native to Australia, which was used in culinary dishes or medicines is bush tucker. Bush tucker can be anything from plants to meats. For example, one type of bush tucker is the wattleseed. Wattleseed is an Acacia plant that is typically ground and roasted. Some people report that it has a taste of cocoa, coffee, and hazelnut. Other types of bush tucker are kangaroo and emu. Both meats are served throughout the country and continent. Kangaroo tends to be a much more lean meat than meats like beef and pork, and emu is a protein-packed, low-in-fat, and flavorful meat, eaten fairly often in Australia. The interesting thing is that Australians eat both kangaroo and emu, which are both found on the Coat of Arms of the country. Lastly, another modern dish is the salt and pepper squid. The main difference between this and calamari is that the salt and pepper squid is only lightly floured before frying.

Language in Australia 2014

Although no official language, the closest thing is English. Around 81% of people speak English in the home. Accompanied with English, the language in Australia has a strong Australian dialect and accent that make the language slightly unique to the area. In Papua New Guinea, there are three official languages: English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu. Small portions of the country speak Greek, Mandarin, Chinese, and a few other Asian languages. While English is the language spoken in government and education, Tok Pisin is spoken in the workplace. Hiri Motu is mainly spoken in the southern region, where Tok Pisin is not spoken. Nonetheless, many indigenous and local languages are spoken amongst tribes throughout the respective regions of the continent.

The Australian Contient