Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,659,000.
The metropolitan area is located in the South West Division of Western Australia, between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the banks of the Swan River.
Shortly after the establishment of the port settlement of Fremantle, Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the free-settler Swan River Colony. As the business and administration centre for the resource rich state, Perth has grown consistently faster than the national average.
Perth became known worldwide as the “City of Light” when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998. Perth is tied for eighth place in The Economist’s 2010 list of the World’s Most Livable Cities.