As capital of New South Wales, Sydney is the seat of its government and parliament. More than 40 city councils throughout Sydney handle local matters although the state government retains authority in some areas, including transportation and public safety. In addition, some of Sydney's land is under control of Australia's federal government. The City Council of Sydney has jurisdiction over a 13-square-kilometer (five-square-mile) core area that includes the Central Business District and some inner suburbs.

The Sydney Statistical Division, established in 1976 and covering 12,407 square kilometers (4,790 square miles), corresponds to territory that was expected to undergo urban development over the next two decades. It was created from a combination of developed and rural land.

City Fact Comparison
Indicator Atlanta Cairo Rome Beijing
(United States) (Egypt) (Italy) (China)
Population of urban area1 3,665,000 10,772,000 2,688,000 12,033,000
Date the city was founded 1788 AD 969 753 BC 723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy) $114 $193 $172 $129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) $74 $56 $59 $62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) $18 $14 $15 $16
Total daily costs $206 $173 $246 $207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city 11 13 20 11
Largest newspaper Sunday Telegraph Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar La Repubblica Renmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper 1,800,000 1,159,450 754,930 3,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established 1939 1944 1976 1948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.