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Yesterday’s boat people

A decision to invite non-British immigrants into Australia transformed the country’s economy and culture - and proves a change in policy can change the future

Greg Langley
© The Age Archives

Yesterday’s boat people

A decision to invite non-British immigrants into Australia transformed the country’s economy and culture - and proves a change in policy can change the future

Greg Langley

Fast facts on Australia

Population: 1947: 7.5 million; 2009: 21.8 million

Population over 65: 13.1%

Old-age dependency ratio: 2005: 19; 2050: 41

7.7 million square kilometers in size, Australia is the world’s smallest continent but the sixth largest country

Population density: 2.833/km²

GDP per capita: US$37,298

A pint of beer costs US$4.67; consumption is 109.9 liters per capita per annum

Tipping is not expected

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