Australia's most populated city and the most populous city in Oceania is Sydney, which serves as the state capital of New South Wales. This Australian metropolis, which surrounds Port Jackson and extends approximately 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north, the Royal National Park to the south, and the town of Macarthur to the south-west, is located on the east coast of Australia. A total of 658 suburbs are found in Sydney, which is divided into 33 local government districts. Informally, there are at least 15 different areas to choose from. Sydneysiders are people who live in the city of Sydney. In June 2020, Sydney's projected metropolitan population was 5,367,206 people. As a result, the city was home to roughly 66 percent of the state's population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Throughout history, the city has been referred to as many names, including the 'Emerald City' and the 'Harbour City.'
At least 30,000 years have passed since Indigenous Australians first settled in the Sydney area, and thousands of carvings can still be found across the area, making it one of the most abundant Aboriginal archaeological sites in Australia. At the time of European contact, the area was populated by about 29 clan groupings of the Eora Nation. Lieutenant James Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to map the eastern coast of Australia on their first Pacific trip in 1770, making landing at Botany Bay and igniting British interest in the region. In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, under the leadership of Arthur Phillip, established Sydney as a British penal colony, marking the beginning of European colonisation in the continent of Australia. The town was named after Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, who was Phillip's grandfather. Penal transportation to New South Wales came to an end shortly after the state of New South Wales was established in 1842. It was during the gold rush of 1851 that Sydney was transformed from a colonial outpost to a significant worldwide cultural and commercial hub. Following World War II, it witnessed a wave of mass migration, resulting in it being one of the world's most multicultural cities. The 2011 census revealed that more than 250 distinct languages were spoken in Sydney at the time of the census. According to the 2016 Census, about 35.8 percent of inhabitants spoke at home in a language other than English. A further point to note is that 45.4 percent of the population identified themselves as having been born abroad, making it the city with the third-largest foreign-born population in the world, behind only London and New York City. While Sydney's population decreased by a net of 716,832 persons in comparison to the rest of Australia between 1971 and 2018, the city's population has continued to increase, mainly as a result of immigration.
While Sydney is consistently ranked among the world's top ten most liveable cities, despite the fact that it is one of the world's most costly cities. Globalization and Globe Cities Research Network has designated it as an Alpha Global City, meaning that it has a significant impact on the area and the rest of the world. Sydney has a sophisticated market economy with strengths in banking, industry, and tourism, and is ranked tenth in the world for economic opportunity. A large concentration of international banks and multinational companies can be found in the city of Sydney, which is marketed as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's major financial centres, among other things. The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is widely recognised as one of the world's top institutions. It was Australia's first university and is still considered to be such today. Aside from that, Sydney is home to the State Library of New South Wales, which opened its doors in 1826 and is the country's oldest library.