Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I was thinking of this while responding to a comment. I was going to write it as a comment but then decided I'll just turn it into a post. Well, because it might be too long for a comment.

It's a bit confusing sometimes that Canberra is the capital of Australia. It's not the main city that us foreigners associate with Australia.

We think of Sydney.

I used to think Sydney was the capital of Australia.

The state and territory capitals are less surprising and therefore easy to remember.

Melbourne is the most well known and popular city in Victoria.  It's the capital.

Sydney is the most well known and popular city in New South Wales. It's the capital.

Brisbane, Hobart, Darwin, Adelaide, and Perth are also fairly well known. I'm not sure if that's the case to the average foreigner, but I'm guessing the majority of Australians are familiar with these cities.

American state capitals are somewhat like the Canberra thing.

When I think of Florida, I think of Orlando and Miami. Yet the capital is Tallahassee.

When I think of California, I think of Los Angeles and San Francisco...sometimes San Diego.   The capital is Sacramento.

The capital of New York isn't New York City. It's Albany.

What do most people think of when they think of Texas?

I'm guessing it's Houston or Dallas.

The capital is Austin.

We think of Seattle when we think of Washington.  The capital is....well, not Seattle.

What is it?

I forgot...have to check.

Answer: Olympia.

The capital of Illinois isn't Chicago.  It's Springfield.

Now I'm looking at Lord Wiki's list of American capitals.   There are a few cases where the most popular (and populous) city is the capital.

That would be....Atlanta, Georgia;  Boston, Massachusetts; Honolulu, Hawaii; Nashville, Tennessee, and maybe others.   I say maybe others because there are some states in which I'm not sure what is the most popular city.

With Nashville, it's probably a toss-up between that and Memphis as being most popular.

As for our Federal Capital, I guess it's a bit like Canberra.  I wonder if less-informed people would think New York City is America's capital.  


  1. Australia's capitals are easier to remember - there are less of them :)

  2. Yes! That's one of the nice things about Australia!