Perth () is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is Australia’s fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.1 million living in Greater Perth in 2018. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with most of the metropolitan area on the Swan Coastal Plain between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. The city has expanded outward from the original British settlements on the Swan River, upon which the city’s central business district and port of Fremantle are situated. Perth city is located on land on which the Whadjuk Nyoongar, the Aboriginal people of the south west of Western Australia, have lived for at least 38,000 years.
Captain James Stirling founded Perth in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony. It was named after the town of Perth, Scotland, due to the influence of Stirling’s patron Sir George Murray, who had connections with the area. It gained city status in 1856, although the Perth City Council currently governs only a small area around the central business district. The city’s population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century. It has grown steadily since World War II due to a high net migration rate. Post-war immigrants were predominantly from Britain and Southern Europe, while more recent arrivals have led to a large population of Asian descent. Several mining booms in other parts of Western Australia in the late 20th and early 21st centuries saw Perth become the regional headquarters for large mining operations.
Perth contains a number of important public buildings as well as various historic sites. Notable government buildings include Parliament House, Government House, the Supreme Court Buildings and the Perth Mint. The city is served by Fremantle Harbour and Perth Airport. It was a naval base for the Allies during World War II and the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Base West is located on Garden Island. All five of Western Australia’s universities are based in Perth. The city has been ranked among the world’s most liveable cities and was classified by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2020 as a Beta global city.