Sydney /ˈsɪdni/ 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 the world's largest natural harbour, and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Residents of Sydney are known as "Sydneysiders". Sydney is the second official seat and second official residence of the Governor-General of Australia and the Prime Minister of Australia.
The Sydney area has been inhabited by indigenous Australians for at least 30,000 years. The first British settlers arrived in 1788 to found Sydney as a penal colony. Captain Arthur Phillip, R.N., was charged with establishing the new colony. Since convict transportation ended in the mid-19th century, the city has transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. As at June 2015 Sydney's estimated population was 4.92 million, with the expectation of growing to 5 million before June 2016. Earlier, at the time of the 2011 census, the population was 4.39 million, 1.5 million of which were born overseas, representing many different nationalities and making Sydney one of the most multicultural cities in the world. There are more than 250 different languages spoken in Sydney and about one-third of residents speak a language other than English at home.
The 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the world's most livable cities. It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, manufacturing and tourism. Its gross regional product was $337 billion in 2013, the largest in Australia. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Asia Pacific's leading financial hub.
Being amongst the top fifteen most-visited city in the world, and in addition to hosting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics, millions of tourists come to Sydney each year to see the city's landmarks. Its natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Man-made attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are also well known to international visitors. Captain Arthur Phillip described Sydney Cove as being "without exception the finest harbour in the world".
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