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 1.83 million living in the metropolitan area. 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. The city is named after 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. An influx of immigrants after the Second World War, predominantly from Britain, Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia, led to further rapid population growth. This was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms inthe late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for a number of large mining operations located around the state.