Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia.
The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. The metropolis is located on Port Phillip, a large natural bay, with the city centre positioned on the estuary of the Yarra River at the northernmost point of the bay. The metropolitan area then extends south from the City Centre, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. The City Centre is situated in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne, and the metropolitan area consists of a further 30 municipalities. The metropolis has a population of 4.25 million, growing the fastest in numerical terms and fifth fastest in percentage terms since the previous year. Inhabitants of Melbourne are called Melburnians.
Melbourne was founded in 1835 (47 years after the European settlement of Australia) by settlers from Launceston in Van Diemen's Land. It was named by Governor of New South Wales Sir Richard Bourke in 1837, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847.In 1851, it became the capital city of the newly created colony of Victoria. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world's largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as the interim seat of government of the newly created nation of Australia until 1927.
Melbourne has been ranked as the world's most liveable city in ratings published by the Economist Group's Intelligence Unit (in 2011 and 2012). Often referred to as the "cultural capital of Australia", Melbourne is the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian film (as well as the world's first feature film), Australian television, Australian rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement (known as the Heidelberg School) and Australian dance styles such as New Vogue and the Melbourne Shuffle. It is also a major centre for contemporary and traditional Australian music.
The main passenger airport serving the metropolis is Melbourne Airport, which is the second busiest in Australia. The Port of Melbourne is Australia's busiest seaport for containerised and general cargo. Melbourne is also home to the world's largest tram network.