Australia is a top 20 country

July 2019

Australia is renowned as a country that punches well above its weight across a broad range of measures against global counterparts. The measures outlined below highlight just how Australia ranks as a top 20 country across a wide range of indexes including the economy, international trade, investment, education and other global indexes.

Economy

  • Australia has completed 28 consecutive years of annual economic growth, one of the few economies in the post-WWII period to achieve this — (2018-19) (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
  • Australia is the wealthiest nation in terms of median wealth per adult ahead of Switzerland — (2018) (Global Wealth Report, Credit Suisse)
  • Australia has the world’s 6th largest pool of investment funds under management (US$1.9 trillion). However, within the Asia-Pacific region Australia is ranked 1st — (2018) (Investment Company Institute)
  • Australia is estimated to have the world’s 14th highest GDP and 11th highest GDP per capita (in US dollar terms) — (2018) (International Monetary Fund)
  • The Australian Stock Exchange is the 16th largest stock exchange in the world (by domestic market capitalisation) — (2018) (World Federation of Exchanges)

International trade and investment

  • Australia is the number one global exporter of iron ore, coal and unwrought lead, the 2nd largest exporter of aluminium ores and the 3rd largest exporter of copper ores and zinc ores (by value) — (2017) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 2nd largest global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) (by quantity) — (2018) (Department of Industry, Innovation & Science)
  • Australia is the 3rd largest global exporter of pearls, 4th largest exporter of zircon and the 6th largest exporter of gold (by value) — (2017) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 2nd largest exporter of beef and lentils, the 3rd largest exporter of sugar, and the 5th largest exporter of cereals and wine (by value) — (2017) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the largest global exporter of wool and 3rd largest exporter of cotton (by value) — (2017) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 8th largest global exporter of vegetables, 9th largest exporter of oleaginous fruit and 12th largest exporter of dairy products (by value) — (2017) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 15th largest exporter of orthopaedic appliances (by value) — (2017) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia receives the 8th largest international tourist spend from overseas visitors (US$44.0 billion) — (2017) (United Nations World Development Indicators)
  • Australia attracted the 14th largest amount of inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Australian investors contributed the 17th highest amount of outward FDI globally (based on FDI stocks) — (2018) (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development — UNCTAD)

Doing business

  • Australia is ranked equal 5th on the Web Participation Index — (2018) (World Wide Web Foundation)
  • Australia is ranked 5th for economic freedom — (2019) (Index of Economic Freedom)
  • Australia is ranked 5th on the Global Entrepreneurship Index — (2018) (The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute)
  • Australia is ranked 6th on business environment for 2019-23 — (Economist Intelligence Unit)
  • Australia is ranked 8th on economic resilience — (2018) (IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook)
  • Australia is ranked 12th on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index — (2019) (INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index Report)
  • Australia is ranked 13th on world digital competitiveness — (2018) (IMD World Digital Competitiveness Rankings)
  • Australia is ranked 14th on world talent (2018) (IMD World Talent Ranking)
  • Australia is ranked 18th on ease of doing business — (2019) (World Bank Group)
  • Australia is ranked 18th on world competitiveness (2019) (IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook)
  • Australia is ranked 20th on the Global Innovation Index — (2018) (Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization)

Education and training

  • Australia has the 3rd highest number of universities in the world’s top 100 (University of Melbourne ranked 38th, University of Queensland 55th, University of Sydney 68th, Australian National University 69th, Monash University 91st, University of Western Australia 93rd) — (2018) (Academic Ranking of World Universities)
  • Australia is ranked 4th on secondary education enrolment rates — (2017-18) (World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index)
  • Australia is ranked 5th on internet access in schools — (2017-18) (World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index)
  • Australia has the 9th highest proportion of 25-64 year olds with tertiary qualifications — (2017) (OECD Education at a Glance 2018)
  • Australia is ranked 15th for having the best education system in the world — (2018) (Pearson)

Health and lifestyle

  • Australia is ranked 1st for well-being with three states in the top 10 regions (ACT ranking 1st, VIC 5th, WA 10th — (October 2018) (OECD Regional Well-being)
  • Australia is ranked 2nd on the Youth well-being Index (2017) (International Youth Foundation)
  • Australia has three cities in the world’s top 10 most liveable cities ranking (Melbourne 2nd — Vienna took out first spot displacing Melbourne after a seven year streak, Sydney 5th and Adelaide 10th) — (2018) (Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Ranking)
  • Australia is ranked 7th on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (2017) (World Economic Forum)
  • Australia is ranked equal 9th (with Iceland and New Zealand) on the Passport Index with 181 visa-free access destinations — (2019) (Henley & Partners)
  • Australia is ranked 11th on the Food Sustainability Index — (2018) (Economic Intelligence Unit)
  • Australia is ranked 13th globally on prosperity — (2018) (Legatum Institute)
  • Australians have the 13th highest life expectancy — (2017) (World Bank World Development Indicators)
  • Australia was ranked 16th for organ donation rates — (2017) (ShareLife)
  • Australia had the highest medal tally at the 2018 Commonwealth Games with 80 gold, 59 silver and 59 bronze medals — (2018) (Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games)

Governance and human development

  • Australia is ranked 3rd on the UN’s Human Development Index after Norway and Switzerland (2017) (United Nations Development Programme)
  • Australia is ranked 4th on legal rights — (2017-18) (World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index)
  • Australia is ranked 9th on the Inclusive Development Index– (2018) (World Economic Forum, the Inclusive Development Index)
  • Australia is ranked 9th on the Democracy Index — (2018) (Economic Intelligence Unit)
  • Australia is ranked 11th on the Rule of Law Index — (2019) (World Justice Project)
  • Australia is ranked 10th on the Global Cybersecurity Index — (2018) (International Telecommunication Union (ITU))
  • Australia is ranked 13th on transparency (low incidence of corruption) — (2018) (Transparency International)

Global citizenship

  • Australians are ranked 2nd on the World Giving Index (71% donating money; 65% helping a stranger and 40% volunteering time) — (2017) (Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index)
  • Australia is ranked 10th globally on the Soft Power Index — (2018) (Portland Communications)
  • Australia is the 12th largest contributor to the United Nations regular budget and the 11th largest financial contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping budget — (2018) (United Nations)
  • Australia is the 12th largest country donor for Official Development Assistance (ODA) — (2017) (OECD)

Geography and biodiversity

  • Australia has the 6th largest land size — (2018) (World Bank World Development Indicators)
  • Australia’s search and rescue region comprises 10% of the earth’s surface (Australian Maritime Safety Authority Corporate Plan)
  • Australia’s marine jurisdiction is large — 1.8 times the size of Australia’s land mass and 4 per cent of the global oceans (Geoscience Australia)
  • Australia is home to between 600,000 and 700,000 species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world (Department of the Environment and Energy)
Last Updated: 9 July 2019