Western Australia (commonly abbreviated as WA) is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean, the Great Australian Bight,the Northern Territory and South Australia.
Western Australia is Australia's largest state and the second-largest subnational entity in the world. The ... state has approximately 2.3 million inhabitants (around 10% of the national total), the majority of whom live in the south-west corner of the state.
The first European to visit Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The British established a military outpost at King George Sound, near present-day Albany, in 1826, which was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the townsite of the present-day capital, Perth.
Western Australia achieved self-government in 1890, and later federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today Western Australia's economy mainly relies on mining, agriculture, and tourism, with the state supplying 46% of Australia's exports. Western Australia is the third-largest iron ore producer in the world.
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.74 million living in the Perth metropolitan area.
The majority of the metropolitan area of Perth is located on the Swan Coastal Plain, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both still located on the river. Perth's metropolitan area is formally divided into a number of local government areas, which themselves consist of a large number of suburbs, extending from Two Rocks in the north to Rockingham in the south, and east inland to The Lakes.
Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, and gained city status in 1856 The city's population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century, largely as a result of emigration from the eastern colonies of Australia.
Following the conclusion of WWII there was a surge in economic activity as a result of several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with Perth becoming the regional headquarters for a number of mining operations located around the state.
As part of Perth's role as the capital of Western Australia, the state's Parliament and Supreme Court are located within the city, as well as Government House, the residence of the Governor of Western Australia. Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962.The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.
Perth is tied for eighth place in The Economist's 2011 list of the world's most livable cities.