Australia is a middle power in Asia.
Australia’s power ranking has increased by one place from last year, overtaking South Korea. The country is one of only three in the region that registered an improvement in their overall score — gaining 1.1 points in 2020.
Australia performs best in the defence networks measure, where it places 2nd as a result of the country’s strong showing for regional defence diplomacy with allied and non-allied partners alike. Its lowest rankings are in the economic capability and future resources measures, coming in at 9th place for both.
In 2020, Australia saw its greatest improvement in cultural influence, where it moved up four places. The addition of Papua New Guinea in this year’s Asia Power Index consequently captures more of Australia’s influence in its Pacific near abroad. The country also moved up in rankings for economic relationships as a result of new free trade agreements, and diplomatic influence, which was boosted by favourable perceptions of Australia’s international and domestic handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Australia is trending downward slightly for military capability and resilience. The latter due to major ecological threats facing the country.
Australia exerts more influence in the region than expected given its available resources, as indicated by the country’s positive power gap score.
Read more analysis in the Key Findings report. Explore further results in the Scores section.
A country’s weighted average across eight measures of power