Western Australia

Western Australia
Flag of Western Australia.svgCoat of arms of Western Australia.svg
FlagCoat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe Wildflower State; The Golden State
Map of Australia with Western Australia highlighted
Location relative to other Australian states and territories
Coordinates26°S 121°E / 26°S 121°E / -26; 121
Capital cityPerth
DemonymWestern Australian, West Australian, Sandgroper (colloquial)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 • GovernorKim Beazley
 • PremierMark McGowan (Labor)
Australian state 
 • Established (as the Swan River Colony)2 May 1829
 • Responsible government21 October 1890
 • Federation1 January 1901
 • Australia Act3 March 1986
 • Total2,645,615 km² (1st)
1,021,478 sq mi
 • Land2,529,875 km²
976,790 sq mi
 • Water115,740 km² (4.37%)
44,687 sq mi
(December 2018)[1]
 • Population2,606,338 (4th)
 • Density1.03/km² (7th)
2.7 /sq mi
 • Highest pointMount Meharry
1,249 m (4,098 ft)
Gross state product
 • Product ($m)$255,883[2] (4th)
 • Product per capita$98,997 (2nd)
Time zone(s)UTC+8 (AWST)
Federal representation 
 • House seats16/151
 • Senate seats12/76
 • PostalWA
 • ISO 3166-2AU-WA
 • FloralRed-and-green or Mangles kangaroo paw
(Anigozanthos manglesii)
 • AnimalNumbat
(Myrmecobius fasciatus)
 • BirdBlack swan
(Cygnus atratus)
 • FishWhale shark
 • FossilGogo fish
(Mcnamaraspis kaprios)
 • ColoursBlack and gold

Western Australia[a] (abbreviated as WA) is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south,[b] the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres (976,790 sq mi), and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority (92 per cent) live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area,[3] leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

The first European visitor to Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The first European settlement of Western Australia occurred following the landing by Major Edmund Lockyer on 26 December 1826 of an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government.[4] He established a convict-supported military garrison at King George III Sound, at present-day Albany, and on 21 January 1827[4] formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth.

York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. Situated 97 kilometres (60 miles) east of Perth, it was settled on 16 September 1831.[5]

Western Australia achieved responsible government in 1890 and federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today, its economy mainly relies on mining, oil and gas, services and construction. The state produces 46 per cent of Australia's exports.[6] Western Australia is the second-largest iron ore producer in the world.[7]


Western Australia is bounded to the east by longitude 129°E, the meridian 129 degrees east of Greenwich, which defines the border with South Australia and the Northern Territory, and bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and north. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designates the body of water south of the continent as part of the Indian Ocean; in Australia it is officially gazetted as the Southern Ocean.[b][8][9]

The total length of the state's eastern border is 1,862 km (1,157 mi).[10] There are 20,781 km (12,913 mi) of coastline, including 7,892 km (4,904 mi) of island coastline.[11] The total land area occupied by the state is 2.5 million km2 (970 thousand sq mi).[12]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Wes-Australië
azərbaycanca: Qərbi Avstraliya
Bân-lâm-gú: Se Ò-chiu
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Заходняя Аўстралія
Fiji Hindi: Western Australia
Bahasa Indonesia: Australia Barat
Kapampangan: Albugang Australia
Lëtzebuergesch: Westaustralien
Limburgs: Wes-Australië
Bahasa Melayu: Australia Barat
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Să̤ Ó̤-ciŭ
Nederlands: West-Australië
Nordfriisk: Western Australia
Norfuk / Pitkern: Westen Ostrielya
norsk nynorsk: Vest-Australia
Gagana Samoa: Ausetalia i Sisifo
Simple English: Western Australia
slovenščina: Zahodna Avstralija
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Zapadna Australija
українська: Західна Австралія
Tiếng Việt: Tây Úc
粵語: 西澳洲