Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Australia, a land of hundreds of Aboriginal clans, was claimed by the British during the late 18th century. It was named during the 19th century (it had previous Portuguese, Dutch, and French names) after the original Latin Terra Australis (the “South Land”). It is an island continent between the Pacific and Indian oceans, south of the Southeast Asian archipelagos. It is approximately the same physical size as the continental United States and has a population of approximately 21 million. Most of the population lives in a small number of large cities within 100 kilometers of the coast. The urban populations are more culturally diverse and educated, and the rural populations are more culturally homogeneous and less well educated. Indigenous people tend to live in the rural areas, although there are significant numbers in the suburbs of the major cities. Approximately 23% of the population was born outside of Australia, and ...