Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory
Flag of the Australian Capital TerritoryCoat of Arms of the Australian Capital Territory
FlagCoat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe Nation's Capital
Motto(s)For the Queen, the Law, and the People
Map of Australia with the Australian Capital Territory highlighted
Other Australian states and territories
Coordinates35°18′29″S 149°7′28″E / 35°18′29″S 149°7′28″E / -35.30806; 149.12444
Capital cityCanberra
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 • Chief MinisterAndrew Barr (ALP)
Australian territory 
 • Transferred to Commonwealth1911
 • Responsible government1988
 • Total2,358 km² (8th)
910 sq mi
 • Land2,280 km²
880 sq mi
 • Water77.6 km² (3.29%)
30 sq mi
(Mar 2018)[1]
 • Population419,200 (7th)
 • Density183.86/km² (1st)
476.2 /sq mi
 • Highest pointBimberi Peak
1,912 m (6,273 ft)
 • Lowest pointMurrumbidgee River
429 m (1,407 ft)
Gross territorial product
 • Product ($m)$25,988[2] (6th)
 • Product per capita$72,411 (2nd)
Time zone(s)UTC+10 (AEST)
Federal representation 
 • House seats2/150
 • Senate seats2/76
 • PostalACT
 • ISO 3166-2AU-ACT
 • FloralRoyal bluebell[3]
 • BirdGang-gang cockatoo[4]
 • ColoursBlue and gold[5]

The Australian Capital Territory (known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938) is a federal territory of Australia, located in the south-east of the country and enclaved within the state of New South Wales. It contains Canberra, the capital city of Australia.

Geographically, the territory is bounded by the Goulburn-Cooma railway line in the east, the watershed of Naas Creek in the south, the watershed of the Cotter River in the west, and the watershed of the Molonglo River in the north-east. These boundaries were set to give the ACT an adequate water supply.[6] The Jervis Bay Territory, around the southern end of the Beecroft Peninsula, which is the northern headland of Jervis Bay, is also governed as if it were part of the ACT.

The economic activity of the Australian Capital Territory is heavily concentrated around Canberra. A stable housing market, steady employment and rapid population growth in the 21st century have led to economic prosperity and in 2011 CommSec ranked the ACT as the second best performing economic region in the country.[7] This trend continued into 2016, when the territory was ranked the third best performing out of all of Australia's states and territories.[8] There is a higher proportion of young adults in the region compared with other Australian states or territories. Approximately one-fifth of ACT residents were born outside Australia, mainly in the United Kingdom. Almost one-fifth speak a language other than English at home, the most common being Chinese.[9]


The need for a national territory was flagged by colonial delegates during the Federation conventions of the late 19th century. Section 125 of the Australian Constitution provided that, following Federation in 1901, land would be ceded freely to the new Federal Government. The territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by the state of New South Wales in 1911, two years prior to the naming of Canberra as the national capital in 1913. The floral emblem of the ACT is the royal bluebell and the bird emblem is the gang-gang cockatoo.[3][4]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Аўстралійская сталічная тэрыторыя
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Au-chû Sú-tû Liâng-thi
Bahasa Indonesia: Wilayah Ibu Kota Australia
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Ó̤-ciŭ Siū-dŭ Dĕk-kṳ̆
Norfuk / Pitkern: Ostrielyan Kapitel Teritrii
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Teritorija glavnog grada Australije