Canberra is the capital for the Commonwealth of Australia, the island nation’s eighth largest city.
As noted by Your RV Lifestyle’s article 100 Best Things to Do in Australia, while Canberra is the country’s political capital, the city of Victoria is home to the country’s finest food and wine and is also widely recognized as Australia’s cultural capital.
Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living Survey ranks Canberra number 28 for quality of living tied with San Francisco. The annual survey compares 230 cities from around the globe based on 39 factors including political, economic, environmental, personal safety, health, education, transportation and other public service factors. New York City is used as the benchmark for all comparisons.
Australia ranks among the world’s 25 top exporters, shipping an estimated US$229.7 billion worth of goods in 2017. Australia’s highest-value exports are iron, coal, petroleum gas, gold, inorganic chemicals, crude oil, copper, bovine meat and aluminum according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Canberra, Australia: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: New Parliament House, Royal Australian Mint and Telstra Tower
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Canberra, Australia
- Caroline Buchanan, world champion cyclist (born Oct. 24, 1990)
- Damian McDonald, novelist & rock musician (born Sep. 11, 1969)
- Mia Wasikowska, actress (born Oct. 14, 1989)
- Laura Peel, champion freestyle skiier (born Sep. 29, 1989)
- Michael Matthews, track & road cyclist (born Sep. 26, 1990)
- Connie Garner, former Miss World Fitness (born May 22, 1979)
- Andrew Younghusband, actor & journalist (born Dec. 14, 1970)
- Rebecca Henderson, mountain biker (born Sep. 27, 1991)
- Martin Craft, songwriter, composer & producer (born Jan. 18, 1976)
- Amy Duggan, footballer/soccer player & media personality (born Jun. 11, 1979)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Canberra resident: Canberran
Population: 400,000 (Canberra city)
Density: 1,272 people per square mile (491 per square kilometer)
Population: 423,000 (Australian Capital Territory)
Density: 477 people per square mile (184 per square kilometer)
Population: 22,992,654 (Australia)
Density: 8 people per square mile (3 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$1.189 trillion as of October 2016 (for Australia, per WorldsRichestCountries.com)
GDP per person: $48,806
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Canberra were unavailable.
Official currency used in Canberra: Australian dollar
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on November 24, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Australia-Oceania: Australia. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on November 24, 2016
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on November 24, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on November 24, 2016
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Official Government Website, ACT Government Information Portal. Accessed on November 24, 2016
Wikimedia Commons, Flag of the Australian Capital Territory. Accessed on November 24, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Canberra. Accessed on November 24, 2016
Wikipedia, Australian Capital Territory. Accessed on November 24, 2016
Wikipedia, Capital Districts and Territories. Accessed on November 24, 2016
Wikipedia, Australia. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Wikipedia, List of countries and territories by population density. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Wikipedia, Mercer Quality of Living Survey. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Your RV Lifestyle, 100 Things to do in Australia. Accessed on February 8, 2018
An estimated 400,000 people live within Canberra’s city land area which measures 314.4 square miles (814.2 square kilometers).
Canberra is located in the federal district named the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). According to Wikipedia, ACT has a perimeter defined by the Cotter River to its west, the Molonglo River to its north-east, the Goulburn-Cooma railway line to its east, and Naas Creek as its southern border. The national district also contains a tiny piece around the southern end of Beecroft Peninsula.
ACT has a population of 423,000 people over a land area of 880 square miles (2,279 square kilometers).
At the country level, Australia’s land area covers 2,966,151 square miles (7,682,300 square kilometers). The national population count was 23 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is higher within Australia’s capital city with an average 1,300 Canberrans per square mile (500 per square kilometer).
Throughout the larger Australian Capital Territory, this density dilutes to an average 500 people per square mile (200 per square kilometer).
For Australia overall, population density drops to an average 45 inhabitants per square mile (17 per square kilometer). Australia is among the 14 countries and territories characterized as having the world’s sparsest density, according to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Residents celebrate Australia Day as a public holiday each January 26 to commemorate the first arrival of Australian settlers back on the same day in January in 1788.