Victoria (Australia)

Victoria (abbreviated as Vic) is a state in southeastern Australia. It is the second-smallest state with a land area of 227,444 km2 (87,817 sq mi) and the most densely populated state in Australia (28 per km2). Victoria is bordered with New South Wales to the north and South Australia to the west, and is bounded by the Bass Strait to the south (with the exception of a small land border with Tasmania located along Boundary Islet), the Great Australian Bight portion of the Southern Ocean to the southwest, and the Tasman Sea (a marginal sea of the South Pacific Ocean) to the southeast. The state encompasses a range of climates and geographical features from its temperate coastal and central regions to the Victorian Alps in the north-east and the semi-arid north-west.

Victoria
Nickname(s): 
The Garden State
On The Move
The Place to Be
The Education State
Motto(s): 
Peace and Prosperity
Location of Victoria in Australia
Coordinates: 37°S 144°E
Country Australia
Crown colony
as Colony of Victoria
1 July 1851
Responsible government23 November 1855
Federation1 January 1901
Australia Act3 March 1986
CapitalMelbourne
Largest cityMelbourne
Government
  TypeConstitutional monarchy
  BodyVictorian Government
  GovernorLinda Dessau
  PremierDaniel Andrews (ALP)
Legislature Parliament of Victoria

Legislative Council (40 seats)

Legislative Assembly (88 seats)
Judiciary
Federal representationParliament of Australia
Area
  Total237,657 km2 (91,760 sq mi)
  Land227,444 km2 (87,817 sq mi)
  Water10,213 km2 (3,943 sq mi)
Area rank6th
Highest elevation1,986 m (6,516 ft)
Population
 (September 2020)[1]
  Total6,680,648
  Rank2nd
  Density28/km2 (73/sq mi)
  Density rank2nd
Demonym(s)Victorian
Time zoneUTC+10:00 (AEST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+11:00 (AEDT)
Postal code
VIC
ISO 3166 codeAU-VIC
GSP year2019–20
GSP (A$ million)$458,895[2] (2nd)
GSP per capita$68,996 (6th)
Websitewww.vic.gov.au
Symbols
MammalLeadbeater's possum
(Gymnobelideus leadbeateri)
BirdHelmeted honeyeater
(Lichenostomus melanops cassidix)
FishWeedy seadragon
(Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)
FlowerCommon heath[3]
(Epacris impressa)
MineralGold[4]
ColourNavy blue and silver[5]

Victoria has a population of over 6.6 million,[1] the majority of which is concentrated in the central south area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, and in particular in the metropolitan area of Greater Melbourne, Victoria's state capital and largest city and also Australia's second-largest city, where over three quarters of the Victorian population live. The state is home to four of Australia's 20 largest cities: Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. The population is diverse, with 35.1% of inhabitants being immigrants.[6]

Victoria is home to numerous Aboriginal groups, including the Kulin,[7] the Boonwurrung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurong, the Wathaurong, the Wurundjeri, and the Yorta Yorta. There were more than 30 Aboriginal languages spoken in the area prior to European colonisation. In 1770 James Cook claimed the east coast of the Australian continent for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and from 1788 the area that is now Victoria was a part of the colony of New South Wales. The first European settlement in the area occurred in 1803 at Sullivan Bay. Much of what is now Victoria was included in 1836 in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, Victoria was separated from New South Wales and established as a separate Crown colony in 1851, achieving responsible government in 1855.[8] The Victorian gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s significantly increased Victoria's population and wealth. By the time of Australian Federation in 1901, Melbourne had become the largest city in Australasia, and served as the federal capital of Australia until Canberra was opened in 1927. The state continued to grow strongly through various periods of the 20th and early 21st centuries as a result of high levels of international and interstate migration.

Victoria has 38 seats in the Australian House of Representatives and 12 seats in the Australian Senate. At state level, the Parliament of Victoria consists of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The Labor Party, led by Daniel Andrews as premier, has governed Victoria since 2014. The Governor of Victoria, the representative of the Monarchy of Australia in the state, is currently Linda Dessau. Victoria is divided into 79 local government areas, as well as several unincorporated areas which the state administers directly.

Victoria's economy is the second-largest among Australian states and is highly diversified, with service sectors predominating. Culturally, Melbourne hosts a number of museums, art galleries, and theatres, and is also described as the world's sporting capital,[9][10] and the spiritual home of Australian cricket and Australian rules football.[11]