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Australian Visa Bureau
Life in Australia
» Australian Lifestyle
Australia is known the world over as a liberal and democratic nation, these factors, combined with a warm climate and exotic landscapes rank among the most popular reasons why people choose to move to Australia.
Quality of Life in Australia
Quality of life is a difficult measure to determine; many factors affect an average person's capacity to live in any given place such as crime, access to healthcare, political stability, infrastructure and that is without taking into account any significant personal circumstances, of which everyone has.
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index (HDI) is one of the most widely respected and quoted measurements of a country's development in terms of quality of life for the average person. While countries such as China have rapidly developed in recent years, the quality of life for most people remains relatively low.
The United Nations Development Programme carries out the most widely used Human Development Index and takes into account the following conditions:
The most recent HDI was published in 2011 and ranked Australia second in the world, behind only Norway.
All Australians are guaranteed the following rights:
Australia's tradition, which originally lay in its British colonial history changed drastically in the aftermath of World War II; the country's population grew significantly - from 7 million in 1945 to almost 23 million today, including 6.5 million migrants.
Like few other countries in the world, Australia is a country fuelled by migration. While the Indigenous Australian culture still holds significant influence in Australia, the country's culture and lifestyle has been infused with Greek, Asian, Middle Eastern and many other cultures, all against a familiar British backdrop.
Australian tourism might have received a welcome boost after the success of Crocodile Dundee but the country has also struggled to shake off a stereotype at odds with the cosmopolitan, city lifestyle the majority of the population leads.
A common assumption often made is that most Australians live a rural lifestyle, in the Outback. However, almost all towns and cities in Australia are dotted along the country's coasts and as many as 75% of all Australians live in the states' capital cities.
The warm Australian climate is typically conducive to an outdoor lifestyle, meaning many Australians will spend large amounts of time either at the beach or in parks or participating in sport.
One common assumption that certainly rings true is Australians' love for sport. While cricket, Aussie rules football and rugby are the three most cited examples of Australia's prowess at sport, they alone do not do the country's fervour justice.
Australia finished fourth in the medal table in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and sixth in Beijing in 2008; a 10th place finish in 2012 was seen as a major disappointment for Australia.
Other popular sports in Australia include tennis, golf, football (soccer in Australia), hockey and baseball.
However, while an enthusiasm for sport is far from a rare trend in a nation, Australia stands out in its participation rate. A recent survey showed over 11 million Australians over the age of 15 - almost 70% of the population - exercised at least once a week.
Some of the most popular activities included walking, aerobics, swimming, tennis, golf, bushwalking, football, cycling and netball.
Like Australia's love for sport, the typical national diet is heavily influenced by the weather.
While all British favourites - Sunday roasts, pies and puddings - are readily available, Australia's diet typically consists of fresh, healthy and seasonal food. This means native Australian meats and breads as well as fish and organically grown vegetables.
The country's diversity also weighs a heavy influence on its cuisine. The term 'Modern Australian' has now become a culinary term which refers to dishes with a mixture of Asian, Mediterranean and British ingredients and techniques.
Typical global food chains such as McDonalds, Subway, KFC, Burger King (also known as Hungry Jacks) are as prevalent in Australia as anywhere else while plenty of other takeaways can be found in almost all town and city centres.
There are several foods which Australia is famous for, primarily Vegemite. The dark brown yeast extract is famous the world over for its divisiveness but in Australia it can be found on Scrolls - pastry baked with Vegemite and cheese, pastries and as a breakfast staple.
Other quintessentially Australian foods include Anzac biscuits - soft sweet oat biscuits with coconut and golden syrup, Lamingtons - small sponge cakes covered in chocolate and coconut and Fairy bread - sliced white bread cut into triangles and topped with sprinkles.
Pavlova, the meringue dessert, is the subject of much debate as to whether it originated in Australia or New Zealand but can still be found across Australia either way.
The national language of Australia is English but there are over 200 languages, including many Indigenous Australian languages, spoken within its borders.
While the majority of people can speak English, some people find it hard to adjust the Australian accent and an increase use of slang compared to other English speaking countries.
However, there is ultimately little difference between Australian English and British English, both the dialect and the spelling.
Australian interaction tends to be more informal than in Britain, colleagues will often call each other by their first names and the term 'mate' is used a lot.
While language may be informal, Australia has similar customs to Britain when it comes to physical contact. A handshake is much more common than a hug or a kiss and Australians will form orderly queues.
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The Australian Visa Bureau is a division of Visa Bureau Ltd, an independent UK company specialising in visa and immigration services to Australia.
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