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Census data are made available for a variety of geographic areas, ranging from very small areas all the way up to State level. The available areas fall into two types - those associated with the Australian Standard Geographic Classification (ASGC), and those described as Census Geographic Areas. The ASGC is the standard geographical classification used for the dissemination of a wide variety of ABS statistical data, including Census data, whilst the Census Geographic Areas are specifically created for the output of Census data. The smallest spatial unit defined by the ASGC is the Census Collection District (CD). It is only defined and published for Census years. It forms the basic spatial unit for both the structures of the ASGC and the Census Geographic Areas. Other levels in the ASGC are reviewed annually, with the exception of Urban Centres/Localities, Remoteness Areas, and Sections of State structures.
Most Census Geographic Areas are designed as CD based approximations of other administrative boundaries such as Electoral Divisions and Australia Post postcodes. Some are created for a special purpose such as Remoteness Areas or Indigenous Regions. They allow comparisons of data collected for these common spatial units with data published from the Population Census. The Place of Work Destination Zone and Place of Work Study areas are exceptions in that they are not defined by aggregations of CDs. Place of Work Destination Zones are independently defined by each State/Territory Transport Authority.
Census data can be coded to the following ASGC Areas:
Census data can be aggregated to the following Census Geographic Areas:
The following diagram illustrates the structures of the ASGC and the Census Geographic Areas for the 2006 Census. Census Collection Districts aggregate to all levels except Destination Zones. Some structures cover the whole of Australia and others cover only part. Areas at each level can be aggregated to create the level above. One example is the ASGC Main Structure where the:
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