Victoria is a state in southeastern Australia. It is the second-smallest state with a land area of 227,444 km2 (87,817 sq mi), the second most populated state (after New South Wales) with a population of over 6.5 million, 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 northeast and the semi-arid north-west.
Peace and Prosperity
|Crown colony |
as Colony of Victoria
|1 July 1851|
|Responsible government||23 November 1855|
|Federation||1 January 1901|
|Australia Act||3 March 1986|
|Named for||Queen Victoria|
|Capital and largest city||Melbourne|
|Administration||79 local government areas|
|• Type||Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy|
|• Body||Victorian Government|
|• Governor||Linda Dessau|
|• Premier||Daniel Andrews (ALP)|
|Legislature||Parliament of Victoria
Legislative Council (40 seats)Legislative Assembly (88 seats)
|Federal representation||Parliament of Australia|
|• Total||237,657 km2 (91,760 sq mi)|
|• Land||227,444 km2 (87,817 sq mi)|
|• Water||10,213 km2 (3,943 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,986 m (6,516 ft)|
|• Density||28/km2 (71/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+10:00 (AEST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+11:00 (AEDT)|
|ISO 3166 code||AU-VIC|
|GSP (A$ million)||$458,895 (2nd)|
|GSP per capita||$68,996 (6th)|
very high · 4th of 8
(Lichenostomus melanops cassidix)
|Colour||Navy blue and silver|
The majority of the Victorian population is concentrated in the central-south area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, and in particular within 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 culturally diverse, with 35.1% of inhabitants being immigrants.
Victoria is home to numerous Aboriginal groups, including the Boonwurrung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurung, 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. 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, and the spiritual home of Australian cricket and Australian rules football.