Australia is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the world’s sixth largest country by total area. Neighboring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in the north-east; and New Zealand to the southeast.
For about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, grouped languages speak about 250 language groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, the eastern half of Australia claimed by Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation was to the colony of New South Wales on 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established. On January 1, 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since Federation, Australia has a stable liberal democratic political system which functions maintained as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy consisting of six states and several territories. The population of 24 million  is highly urbanized and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast.
Australia is a developed country and one of the richest in the world, with a 12th-largest economy in the world. In 2014, Australia was the world’s fifth-highest income per capita. military spending of Australia is the 13th largest in the world. With the second highest Human Development Index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, APEC and the Pacific Islands Forum.