Tasmania is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 kilometres to the south of the Australian mainland, separated from it by the Bass Strait, with the archipelago containing the southernmost point of the country. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 1000 islands. It is Australia's least populous state, with 569,825 residents as of December 2021. The state capital and largest city is Hobart, with around 40 percent of the population living in the Greater Hobart area. Tasmania's main island was inhabited by Aboriginal peoples for up to 40,000 years before British colonization. It is thought that Aboriginal Tasmanians became separated from the mainland Aboriginal groups about 11,700 years ago, after rising sea levels formed Bass Strait.