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Australia is a country of geographical paradoxes One particular point foreigners note about Australia is its sheer size It boasts an area the size of North America - minus Alaska - yet its population is a mere 21 million One of Australias biggest problems these days is its declining farming industry yet the area of its agricultural land alone is greater than the combined land area of France and Japan While it is the driest continent in the world its renewable water resources per head are twice as large as those of the United States - a country with a population ten-fold greater It seems strange that an entire continent with according to its National Anthem boundless plains to share has a population comparable to that of a Pacific Island Economists argue that our countrys underpopulation is hampering Australias becoming a major economic power in the global market A significantly large population can benefit a country in a variety of ways - to be taken more seriously in the councils of the world to resist outside threats more successfully especially with the current terrorism situation and improve its financial situation Many economists contend that increasing the size of companies industries and cities can initiate a dramatic change in output and productivity as well as facilitating technological change and innovation Larger economies are more diversified less vulnerable and have a better chance of being successful However the major demographic issues pertinent to Australias economic development are quite specific These are its ageing population and the decentralisation of its population If these particular weaknesses currently stifling our countrys economic growth can be rectified we may witness unprecedented economic growth Australias current population can be represented on this diagram - an age-sex distribution pyramid It shows the proportions of various age groups for each sex It also reveals that we have an emerging problem with a population which is growing older on average Although
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