Australia shrugged off the global recession. Its economy soared on the back of the biggest housing boom in the world. Its ground holds $1.6 trillion in metals and minerals. Its cities are among the nicest in the world.
However you look at it, Australia is becoming more than a little brother to the West.
We picked out some striking facts for anyone looking to invest down under.
Remember that Great Recession? It wasn't a big deal down under. Australia had only one quarter of negative growth after the financial crisis and its economy grew more than any OECD country in 2009
Australia's government debt to GDP is the second lowest in the OECD -- with levels one quarter of America's
Chile is the only OECD country that's less in the hole.
The Australian dollar is the fifth-most traded currency -- more popular than the Yuan, Real, Ruble or Rupee.
Despite being only the 13th largest economy, Australia's dollar is the fifth most traded currency.
The currency market sees the Aussie as a good long bet and a safe place to flee to in light of QE2 in America and Europe's sovereign debt crisis. It's relative volatility also attracts a lot of investors.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Australia is blessed with almost $1.6 trillion in metals and ore reserves. Only South Africa and Russia have more.
In 2006, Australia was the world's top exporter of coal, wool, zinc and tin ores and concentrates, iron ore, beef, barley and raw sugar
Australia's population density is less than three people per square mile. Only Namibia and Mongolia are more sparsely populated
The arid climate makes most of the country essentially uninhabitable, however. The five biggest cities in Australia are spending $13.2 billion on seawater desalination
Perth is the most isolated urban area in the world. The closest city, Adelaide, is 1307 miles from Perth. That's about as far New Orleans is from New York
Australia's housing is overvalued by 56% according to price-to-rent ratios -- the biggest real estate bubble in the world
The housing market is overvalued by 56.4%. A steady flow of immigrants has kept it from crashing so far, but there are plenty of trends that point to a coming disaster.
Economist Steve Keen warns that Australian housing is a bubble heading for an American style subprime crash: 'There are very good odds that, when this Ponzi Scheme collapses and house prices fall, bank shares will go down with them.'
See an interactive table at The Economist.