Australian Bureau of Statistics
1291.0 - A Guide to Major ABS Classifications, 1998
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/09/1998
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The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) is an Australian statistical standard used for the production and dissemination of official statistics on countries. The SACC is a classification of countries based on the concept of geographic proximity. The SACC groups neighbouring countries into progressively broader geographic areas on the basis of their similarity in terms of social, cultural, economic and political characteristics. The SACC is suitable for a range of applications including the classification of economic as well as population statistics by country.
The SACC should be used for the production and dissemination of all official statistics on countries. For example, the classification should be used when collecting, aggregating and disseminating data relating to personal characteristics such as country of birth, country of residence, country of citizenship, etc. The classification is now also intended for use in classifying economic statistics by country. For example, the classification can be used to classify countries for international trade and foreign investment data. It is not intended for classifying related concepts such as the ethnicity of individuals or the language spoken by individuals.
The base units in the classification are 'countries'. The 'countries' identified in the classification are of five types:
The classification includes all countries currently existing in the world, as defined above.
In order to make the SACC useful for the collection and dissemination of economic statistics, a number of other categories which do not equate directly to countries have been identified. These categories include Reserve Bank Gold, Euro Bond Market, Ships' Stores, etc. Although not part of the standard classification structure, they are provided to allow for the convenient classification of certain types of data by country, where some entities other than countries are relevant.
Structure of the classification
The SACC has a hierarchy consisting of three levels:
The nine Major Groups of the classification are:
2. North-West Europe
3. Southern and Eastern Europe
4. North Africa and Western Asia
5. South-East Asia
6. North-East Asia
7. Southern Asia
8. The Americas
9. Sub-Saharan Africa
A Coding Index has been included in the publication to enable responses in statistical and administrative collections to be assigned accurately and quickly to the appropriate category of the classification. It contains a comprehensive list of responses to common questions relating to country and their correct classification codes.
One, two and four digit codes are assigned to the first, second and third level units of the classification respectively. The first digit identifies the Major Group in which each Country or Minor Group is contained. The first two digits taken together identify the Minor Group in which each Country is contained. The four digit codes represent each of the Countries.
The following example illustrates the coding scheme:
Further information may be obtained through the following products:
The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) replaced the Australian Standard Classification of Countries for Social Statistics (ASCCSS) on 24 September 1998 and future changes to the SACC will be reflected on the ABS web site in the Statistical Concepts Library.
This page last updated 20 January 2006
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