Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million and constitutes the core of the South East Queensland agglomeration, encompassing more than 3 million people. The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River approximately 23 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between the bay and the Great Dividing Range. While the metropolitan area is governed by several municipalities, a large proportion of central Brisbane is governed by the Brisbane City Council which is Australia's largest Local Government Area by population.
Brisbane is named after the river on which it sits which, in turn, was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres north of the Brisbane central business district, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859.
The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during World War II as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur. Brisbane has hosted many large cultural and sporting events including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88 and the final Goodwill Games in 2001. Brisbane is the largest economy between Sydney and Singapore and in 2008 it was classified as a Beta? world city in the World Cities Study Group?s inventory by Loughborough University. It was also rated the 16th most livable city in the world in 2009 by The Economist.