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Map - Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state and the second largest subnational entity in the world. It has 2.3 million inhabitants (10% of the national total), 85% of whom live in the south-west corner of the state.
The state's capital city is Perth. The people of Western Australia are sometimes referred to as sandgropers, the common name of an insect found on sand dunes around Perth.
The first European to visit Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The British established a military outpost at King George Sound, near present-day Albany, in 1826, which was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the townsite of the present-day capital, Perth. Western Australia achieved self-government in 1890, and later federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today Western Australia's economy mainly relies on mining, agriculture and tourism. WA supplies 36% of Australia's overseas exports and is the third largest iron-ore producer in the world.