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Australians are one of the world's most urbanised societies - nearly 90 per cent of the population is city dweller living along the coast.
The largest and most populous city is Sydney with 3.9 million people, closely followed by Melbourne, its southern rival, counting 3.3 million. Third largest city is Brisbane, 1.5 m, followed by Perth 1.3 m, Adelaide 1.08 m, Canberra 308,000, Hobart 195,000 and Darwin 86,000.
Australian cities are wide-spread and consisting more or less of suburban one-storey houses on a quarter-acre block. There is a tendency to build multi-storey office blocks in central business districts and the gleaming glass and concrete towers dominate the skyline in most capital cities. In the shadows of skyscrapers are labyrinths of interconnecting courts and arcades offering a wealth of shopping, cafes, restaurants, and night-clubs.
In business life Australians are conservative dressers but this changes abruptly as the week-end approaches. Australia is very much a beach culture and people's attire reflects an outdoor lifestyle. All state capital cities are built either on or very near the water; even Canberra, although an inland city, is dominated by Lake Burley Griffin.