Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds one of the world's largest natural harbours, and sprawls out towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Residents are together known as "Sydneysiders" and constitute the most multicultural city in Australia as well as one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
The Sydney area has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for tens of millennia. British settlers arrived in 1788 with Captain Arthur Phillip who founded Sydney as a penal colony. Successive colonial Governors assisted to transform the settlement into a thriving and independent metropolis. Since the end of convict transportationin the mid 1800s the city has become a global cultural and economic centre.
The population of Sydney at the time of the 2011 census was 4.39 million. About 1.5 million of this total were born overseas and represent many different countries from around the world. There are more than 250 different languages spoken in Sydney and around one-third of residents speak a language other than English at home.