South Australia is a state of Australia in the south of the country between Western Australia to the west and Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to the east, and south of the Northern Territory. It was first split off from New South Wales and proclaimed a colony in 1834, and unlike the other states in Australia was never a penal colony, instead being settled entirely by free settlers from Britain from the 1830s onwards. Following the British settlement, waves of settlers also began to come in from other parts of Europe, most notably Ireland, Germany, Italy, Greece and Poland. With nearly 1.6 million people, however, the state comprises less than 10% of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the states and territories. However, the state covers a vast amount of land area, including some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories. The state also includes Kangaroo Island, Australia's third largest island which lies off the coast of the mainland in the south-east of the state.