Skip to main content

Trade and investment publications and articles

Australia is a top 20 country

December 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 2nd wealthiest nation in terms of median wealth per adult ahead of after Switzerland — (2019) (Global Wealth Report, Credit Suisse)
  • Australia is the 2nd largest (after New Zealand) in the capability to withstand/benefit from disruptive forces and 5th largest for traditional economic drivers — (2019) (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • Australia is ranked 5th for resilience of the economy — (2019) (IMD World Competitiveness Country Profile)
  • Australia has the world’s 6th largest pool of investment funds under management (US$2.1 trillion). However, within the Asia-Pacific region Australia is ranked 1st — (2018-19) (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 and coal, 2nd largest exporter of aluminium ores, unwrought lead and zinc ores and 3rd largest exporter of copper ores (by value) — (2018) (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 5th largest global exporter of pearls, zircon and silver and 6th largest exporter of gold (by value) — (2018) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 2nd largest exporter of beef, 3rd largest exporter of lentils, 4th largest exporter of sugar, and 10th largest exporter of cereals (by value) — (2018) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 4th largest global exporter of wine (by value) — (2018) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the largest global exporter of wool and 4th largest exporter of cotton (by value) — (2018) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 12th largest exporter of dairy products, 15th largest exporter of oleaginous fruit and 16th largest global exporter of vegetables (by value) — (2018) (United Nations Comtrade database)
  • Australia is the 13th largest exporter of orthopaedic appliances (by value) — (2018) (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 5th on economic resilience — (2019) (IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook)
  • Australia is ranked 6th on business environment for 2020-24 — (Economist Intelligence Unit)
  • Australia is ranked 12th on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index — (2019) (INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index Report)
  • Australia is ranked 13th on the number of trademark applications filed by residents — (2017) (World Bank)
  • Australia is ranked 14th on world digital competitiveness — (2019) (IMD World Digital Competitiveness Rankings)
  • Australia is ranked 14th on ease of doing business — (2020) (World Bank Group)
  • Australia is ranked 16th on world talent (2019) (IMD World Talent Ranking)
  • Australia is ranked 18th on world competitiveness (2019) (IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook)

Education and training

  • Australia is ranked 1st on inbound student mobility — (2019) (IMD World Competitiveness Country Profile)
  • Australia has the 3rd highest number of universities in the world’s top 100 (University of Melbourne ranked 41st, University of Queensland 54th, Monash University 73rd, Australian National University 76th, University of Sydney 80th, University of New South Wales 94th, University of Western Australia 99th) — (2019)
    (Academic Ranking of World Universities)
  • Australia’s universities ranked high in the following selected academic subjects — (2019)
    (Academic Ranking of World Universities):
    • Mining & Mineral Engineering (University of Queensland ranked 3rd, University of Western Australia 5th, University of New South Wales 8th, Monash University 10th, Curtin University 11th, University of Tasmania 16th);
    • Nursing (Griffith University ranked 4th, University of Technology Sydney 8th, University of Queensland 9th);
    • Water Resources (University of New South Wales ranked 7th; Flinders University 14th, University of Queensland 20th)
  • Australia is ranked 6th for having the best education system in the world — (2019) (Pearson)
  • Australia has the 9th highest proportion of 25-64 year olds with tertiary qualifications — (2018) (OECD Education at a Glance 2019)

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, Sydney 3rd and Adelaide 10th) — (2019) (Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Ranking)
  • Lord Howe Island in Australia ranked 5th as a top region to visit — (2020) (Lonely Plant, Best in Travel)
  • Australia is ranked 7th on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (2019) (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)
  • Australians have the 13th highest life expectancy — (2017) (World Bank World Development Indicators)
  • Australia was ranked 16th for organ donation rates — (2017) (ShareLife)
  • Australia is ranked 17th globally on prosperity — (2018) (Legatum Institute)
  • 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 6th on the UN's Human Development Index after Norway and Switzerland (2018) (United Nations Development Programme)
  • 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 10th on the Global Cybersecurity Index — (2018) (International Telecommunication Union (ITU))
  • Australia is ranked 11th on the Rule of Law Index — (2019) (World Justice Project)
  • 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 9th globally on the Soft Power Index — (2019) (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 — (2019) (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)
Back to top