Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 1.9 million living in Greater Perth. The first areas settled were on the Swan River, with the city’s central business district and port (Fremantle) both located on its shores.
Perth was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony, and gained city status in 1856 (currently vested in the smaller City of Perth). The city is named for Perth, Scotland, by influence of Sir George Murray, then British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The city’s population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century, largely as a result of emigration from the eastern colonies of Australia. During Australia’s involvement in World War II, Fremantle served as a base for submarines operating in the Pacific Theatre. An influx of immigrants following the conclusion of the war was followed by a surge in economic activity as a result of several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with Perth becoming the regional headquarters for a number of mining operations located around the state.