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ABS GEOGRAPHY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
ABS statistical geography
Transforming data to the ASGS
ASGS implementation schedule
ABS STATISTICAL GEOGRAPHY
The ABS is currently implementing a new statistical geography, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), for the output of data. Local Government Areas are part of the ASGS and the ABS will continue to support LGAs with the data it currently provides.
Did you know that the ABS is responsible for developing statistical geography standards that are used for the dissemination of statistics? There is an ABS Geography Portal available on the ABS website that provides information on what a statistical geography is, as well as information on and relating to the current statistical geography standards.
Since 1984 the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) has been used by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. The final edition of the ASGC was released in July 2011 from which time it is progressively being replaced with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) as its geographical framework. From July 2012, the ASGC will no longer be updated and the ASGS will be the sole ABS statistical geography. More information about the change to the ASGS is on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Geography Portal.
The ASGS will be used for the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, however 2011 Census data will also be available on ASGC Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). The 2011 Census of Population and Housing data will be available at the LGA level. The ABS anticipates that all its spatial data will be based on the ASGS by 2014.
For information on the geographical units of the ASGS see the Australian Statistical Geography Standard page in the ABS Geography Portal.
The ASGS brings all the regions used by the ABS to output data under the one umbrella. They are divided into two broad categories: ABS Structures (those regions which are defined and maintained by the ABS) and Non-ABS Structures (those regions defined and maintained by other organisations, but for which the ABS supplies data). LGAs are not defined or maintained by the ABS and are therefore included in the Non-ABS Structures of the ASGS. LGAs are approximated by aggregates of whole Mesh Blocks which are the smallest region within the ASGS. The ABS will update the LGA structure of the ASGS annually. This will enable the continued availability of LGA data under the ASGS.
For more information on how LGAs fit into the ASGS please refer to the Local Government Areas Fact Sheet from the ASGS Fact Sheets page on the ABS Geography Portal.
Digital Boundary Files
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 3 - Non-ABS Structures (cat. no. 1270.0.55.003) includes the LGA digital boundary files in MapInfo Interchange and ESRI Shapefile formats. This publication also includes the manual, LGA labels and codes for all LGAs under the ASGS Non-ABS Structures.
TRANSFORMING DATA TO THE ASGS
To assist with the implementation of the ASGS, an extensive range of correspondences will be available. Correspondences involve mathematically reassigning the data from one geographic region to another. Under the ASGS a new method for building correspondences has been developed. The standard correspondences will use a weighting calculated using mesh block population data from the 2011 Census. For more information, including the availability of the various correspondences, see the Correspondences page of the Geography Portal. Correspondences based on area or other variables may also be available on request. LGA correspondences will be available in mid 2012. Standard ASGS correspondences will be available free of charge either from the ABS website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further detail on correspondences and other options for converting data to the ASGS is in the ABS Information Paper: Converting Data to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, 2012 (cat. no. 1216.0.55.004).
Mesh Block to ABS LGA files (csv format) containing codes and area (in square kilometres) for all LGAs under the ASGS Non-ABS Structures are included in Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 3 - Non-ABS Structures (cat. no. 1270.0.55.003).
ASGS IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE
A summary table of the ABS publications that will be impacted by the transition from the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is included on the ASGS Implementation Schedule for ABS Publications page in the ABS Geography Portal. For each publication the table summarises the geographical level available (including LGAs) and output dates for data on the ASGC and the ASGS. It also indicates the availability of any time series data that will be provided.
The schedule also includes links to more detailed release plans where they are available. For example, for detailed information on Population Estimates see the ABS Information Paper: Population Estimates Under Australia's New Statistical Geography, August 2011 (cat. no. 3219.0.55.001). Plans for LGA Building Approvals statistics are outlined in Building Approvals, Australia, April 2011 (cat. no. 8731.0). Building Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0) began releasing statistics under the ASGS in the July 2011 issue.
The implementation schedule will continue to be updated with information as it becomes available.
For more information please follow the link to the ABS Geography Portal. If you have any questions regarding the ASGS please email email@example.com.
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