2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Nov 1998  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/11/1998   
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Census 2001 Geography

With many of the products and services from the 1996 Census now available, attention has already begun to focus on the next Census of Population and Housing to be held in 2001.

The Section of State (SOS) categories, which are part of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), use population counts from the census to define Collection Districts (CDs) as either urban or rural. The SOS Structure relates to all CDs and therefore, in sum, the SOS Structure covers all of Australia.

Within a State or Territory, each SOS represents an aggregation of all CDs of a particular urban type, with the rural balance constituting another Section of State.

          There are currently five different categories which make up the Section of State Structure:
        • Major Urban: urban areas with populations of 100,000 and over
        • Other Urban: urban areas with populations of 1,000 to 99,999
        • Bounded Locality: rural areas with populations of 200 to 999
        • Rural Balance: the remainder of the State/ Territory
        • Migratory: areas composed of off-shore, shipping and migratory CDs, includes people who are counted on census night as being aboard ships in Australian waters, or on overnight journey by train or bus.

New Sections of State
Following the recent review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), it was decided that urban centres from the 2001 Census would be classified according to population size. To achieve this, it is proposed to implement new Sections of State, expanding the present 'Other Urban' category into several classes. It is proposed to implement a two-digit Section of State code from 2001 to facilitate this.

          The initial proposed of the 'Other Urban' category break-up is:
        • 50,000 to 99,999;
        • 20,000 to 49,999;
        • 10,000 to 19,999;
        • 5,000 to 9,999; and
        • 1,000 to 4,999.

Depending on user requirements, the current 'Major Urban' category (100,000 or more population) may be split as follows:
  • 1,000,000 or more population;
  • 250,000 to 999,999; and
  • 100,000 to 249,999.

These changes will allow users of Census data to easily identify collection districts forming part of urban centres within the particular population classes. Thus the characteristics of the population of a range of urban and rural environments can be explored and compared.

If you have any comments on the above proposals, or require more information, please contact Venetia Shaw, Assistant Director, Geography Section on (02) 6252 5888 or email venetia.shaw@abs.gov.au.