South Australia

South Australia (commonly abbreviated as SA) is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 984,321 square kilometres (380,048 sq mi),[5] it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and second smallest state by population. It has a total of 1.8 million people,[1] and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second-largest centre, has a population of 28,684.

South Australia
The Festival State
The Wine State
Location of South Australia in Australia
Coordinates: 30°S 135°E
Country Australia
South Australia Act 183415 August 1834
Declared as Province19 February 1836
Commencement of colonial government28 December 1836
Responsible government22 April 1857
Federation1 January 1901
Australia Act3 March 1986
Capital and largest cityAdelaide
Administration74 local government areas,
49 counties (cadastral units)
  TypeConstitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy
  BodyGovernment of South Australia
  GovernorFrances Adamson
  PremierPeter Malinauskas (Labor)
Legislature Parliament of South Australia

Legislative Council (22 seats)

House of Assembly (47 seats)
Federal representationParliament of Australia
  Total1,044,353 km2 (403,227 sq mi)
  Land984,321 km2 (380,048 sq mi)
  Water60,032 km2 (23,178 sq mi)
Highest elevation1,435 m (4,708 ft)
Lowest elevation−16 m (−52 ft)
 (December 2021)[1]
  Density1.7/km2 (4.5/sq mi)
Demonym(s)South Australians, Croweater (colloquial),[2] South Aussie
Time zonesUTC+09:30 (ACST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+10:30 (ACDT)
UTC+08:45 (ACWST Border Village)
Postal code
ISO 3166 codeAU-SA
GSP year2019–20
GSP ($A million)$108,334[3] (5th)
GSP per capita$61,582 (7th)
HDI (2019)0.932[4]
very high · 7th of 8
MammalSouthern hairy-nosed wombat
(Lasiorhinus latifrons)
BirdPiping shrike (Australian magpie)
FishLeafy seadragon
(Phycodurus eques)
FlowerSturt's Desert Pea
(Swainsona formosa)
FossilSpriggina floundersi
MineralBornite, Opal as Gem
ColourRed, blue, and gold

South Australia shares borders with all of the other mainland states, as well as the Northern Territory; it is bordered to the west by Western Australia, to the north by the Northern Territory, to the north-east by Queensland, to the east by New South Wales, to the south-east by Victoria, and to the south by the Great Australian Bight.[6] The state comprises less than 8 percent of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the six states and two territories. The majority of its people reside in greater Metropolitan Adelaide. Most of the remainder are settled in fertile areas along the south-eastern coast and River Murray. The state's colonial origins are unique in Australia as a freely settled, planned British province,[7] rather than as a convict settlement. Colonial government commenced on 28 December 1836, when the members of the council were sworn in near the Old Gum Tree.[8]

As with the rest of the continent, the region has a long history of human occupation by numerous tribes and languages. The South Australian Company established a temporary settlement at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, on 26 July 1836, five months before Adelaide was founded.[9] The guiding principle behind settlement was that of systematic colonisation, a theory espoused by Edward Gibbon Wakefield that was later employed by the New Zealand Company.[10] The goal was to establish the province as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance. Although its history is marked by economic hardship, South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant. Today, it is known for its fine wine and numerous cultural festivals. The state's economy is dominated by the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries.

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