Victoria is Australia’s second most populous state (pop. 5,550,000 at June 2010), but is also the countries smallest mainland state, with a total land area of 237,629 sq km (91,749 sq mi).
If Victoria were a country, it would be the eighty-third largest (by land mass) of the 235 countries in the world. It’s roughly 65% the size of Germany, 80% the size of Italy, almost the same size as the UK, three times as large as the Republic of Ireland, and just a wee bit smaller than New Zealand.
Victoria would rank as the eleventh largest mainland state in the USA (it’s smaller than Wyoming… but slightly larger than Minnesota); is about 60% as large as California and – because we know you’re going to ask – about one-third the size of Texas.
Victoria is bordered by New South Wales to the north, South Australia to the west, and Tasmania to the south, on Boundary Islet. It has a highly centralised population – almost 75% of Victorians live in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital and its largest city.
The first European settlement in Victoria was established in October 1803 at Sullivan Bay, on Port Phillip by 390 people (80% of whom were convicts) from England.
The state was named after England’s Queen Victoria, the ruling monarch at the time.