Commonly known as the ‘Sunshine State’, Queensland is Australia’s second-largest state and has a reputation for warm weather, stunning landscapes and a bustling nightlife.
It’s home to the famous Barrier Reef and over 200 national parks so it’s no surprise that the state is a popular vacation spot given this bounty of natural wonders (not to mention its collection of theme parks on the Gold Coast!).
- Location: The north-eastern corner of Australia
- Population: 4,808,000
- Size: 1,730,648 km2
Thanks to its large size there’s a significant difference between the climates across the state, such as the monsoonal, tropical north and subtropical south.
- Summer average: 24–33°C
- Winter average: 15–24°C
- Average rainfall: 200–1,500 mm
Queensland’s economy was primarily built on a foundation of agriculture, in particular the production of grains, wool and beef.
While those products remain an important component of the state economy, Queensland’s agricultural repertoire has been expanded to include sugar cane, fruits, vegetables, cotton dairy products and other livestock.
Construction and manufacturing are also key contributors to the Queensland economy, with the gas industry in particular becoming a lucrative asset to the state.
Given Queensland’s picturesque landscapes and rich agricultural sector, it isn’t surprising that more than two thirds of its population live outside of the greater metropolitan area of Brisbane.
This is a much higher proportion of people living outside the state capital than in most states of Australia, which are comparatively more urbanised.
Queensland is also a hub for tourism, with the Great Barrier Reef situated on the coast of North Queensland, beside the city of Cairns.
The Gold Coast is rich with surfing spots, night life, and family friendly theme parks. To the west is fertile Australian outback, rich with natural gemstones and home to some major fossil sites.
Brisbane is a popular city for both holidaymakers and people looking for a place to stay permanently.
The 2010 Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey found Brisbane to be one of Australia’s most affordable cities to live in and less expensive than fellow eastern state capitals Sydney and Melbourne.
Brisbane’s largest employing sector is currently business services, which accounts for more than a quarter of the city’s economy.
Construction, retail, government and health are also key components of the employment market, together making up more than half the total employment in Brisbane.