Australian Bureau of Statistics
1269.0 - Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), Second Edition
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2008
|Page tools: Print Page Print All RSS Search this Product|
RELATIONSHIP OF THE SACC TO THE UNITED NATIONS STANDARD COUNTRY OR AREA CODES
The United Nations (UN) geographical classification of the countries of the world is published in the document: Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use, UN Statistical Paper, Series M No. 49, Rev 4, 1999. As the aggregation of countries in the UN classification is done on a strictly continental basis, the groupings do not always meet the requirements of Australian users. The geographically based structure of the SACC has been developed giving emphasis to social, cultural, economic and political criteria and to groupings that are relevant to Australia's multicultural society. The resultant classification is more useful than the UN classification for the collection, dissemination and analysis of country based information in Australia. However, the units and groupings of the two classifications are broadly compatible and it is possible to correspond data based on the SACC to the UN classification for the purposes of international comparison (see Appendix 8 for the correspondence between the SACC and UN classification).
DEFINITION OF COUNTRY
Although most people have an intuitive understanding of what constitutes a country, precise definition of the concept is difficult given the differing levels of sovereignty and independence of many of the world's countries. The term 'countries' appears in the classification title and is used throughout this document to describe the base-level units (that is, the categories at the most detailed level of the classification), even though not all of the units classified are fully independent countries. The base-level units of the classification include:
A number of supplementary codes are also itemised in the classification document (see Appendix 1). These codes, which are used to represent country-like entities and to process inadequately described responses in statistical collections, are not part of the classification structure and are therefore not country level units in the classification. These codes are explained more fully in the section 'Supplementary codes'.
In economic statistics, it is often necessary to present within one view of the data, information about countries and information that does not have a country dimension. The SACC therefore includes a number of categories which do not equate to individual countries. These categories include entities such as Reserve Bank Gold and International Institutions. Other categories are also required where country information is applicable but not available. For instance, debt issues in international capital markets are allocated the supplementary code 0718: International Capital Markets. In some cases, residual categories such as Africa, not elsewhere classified, OECD, nfd, and UN, nfd, are used in economic statistics to combine, within broad continental or other relevant groupings, confidential country information, information about insignificant economic relationships, and information that is not sufficiently defined for country attribution but which can be allocated to a continent. All the above residual categories necessary for economic statistics purposes have been assigned unique four-digit codes and are listed in Appendix 1. They are not categories of the classification structure.
The scope of the SACC is all countries currently existing in the world as defined above. Because the number of countries can easily be accommodated in the structure without the classification becoming unwieldy, the vast majority of countries are separately identified even though many of them are statistically insignificant in the Australian context. In a small number of instances geographic areas have not been separately identified but have been included in residual (not elsewhere classified) categories. Most of these entities have no permanent civilian population and are not significant in terms of social or economic statistics. This comprehensive coverage makes the classification useful for a wide range of applications and increases its longevity.
CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA AND THEIR APPLICATION
Classification criteria are the principles by which categories are aggregated to form broader categories in a classification structure. Three classification criteria are used in the SACC to form the categories of the classification structure:
Geographic proximity is the basic criterion used to group countries in the SACC. In its most fundamental sense, geographic proximity means countries being contiguous, that is, sharing a common border. In the classification structure, geographically contiguous countries are added together so that a group of countries is formed. Although not all countries in the resultant group are contiguous, they form a continuous mass without any country not included in the group intervening. Geographic proximity can therefore describe countries that are contiguous, or countries that are linked one to the other to form a continuous unbroken landmass. Such countries may be described as neighbouring countries. It should be noted that the intervention of international bodies of water between countries is not considered to impede this principle. Thus the Caspian Sea lying between the countries of the Caucasus and the countries of Central Asia does not preclude these countries being regarded as neighbouring or geographically proximate countries even though there is a large area of water between them.
Similarity in terms of social and cultural characteristics is based primarily on religion(s) practised and language(s) spoken in a group of countries. However, other factors such as historical links, similarity of national aspirations, and even factors such as type of food, or similarity of art, serve as indicators of cultural and social similarity.
The lowest level of the classification consists of separately identified countries as described previously (see Definition of country). Neighbouring countries are combined to form the minor groups of the classification structure on the basis of their similarity in terms of social, cultural, economic and political characteristics. In a very few instances this principle of combining neighbouring countries is not strictly adhered to because the interests of practicality and usefulness are better served by a more stringent application of the second criterion. For instance, Spain and Portugal are included in a group with other similar southern European countries even though the southern part of France lies between Spain and Italy. As well as being geographically proximate, the countries of minor groups must all lie within a single geographic continent. Although the countries in a minor group category are not necessarily identical in respect of any particular characteristic, the groups formed are relatively homogeneous in terms of the set of classification criteria.
While geographic proximity is the principal criterion employed in grouping countries, in instances where a country could fit into more than one minor group on the basis of its geographic location, its placement in the classification is made primarily on the basis of its characteristics and those of its neighbours. For instance, on the basis of location, Mexico could be included in either the group of countries comprising Northern America or the group of countries comprising Central America. It is included in Central America because it is more similar in terms of social, cultural, economic and political characteristics to countries such as Honduras and Guatemala than to the United States and Canada. Where a country could fit equally into more than one minor group on the basis of all the classification criteria, it is classified on the basis of factors such as practicality, usefulness, and statistical balance between groups (see Design constraints). For instance, on the basis of the classification criteria, Italy would fit comfortably in either Western Europe or Southern Europe. It is included in Southern Europe on the basis of the aforementioned factors.
At the first and most general level of the classification structure, major groups are formed by aggregating geographically proximate minor groups. The aggregation of minor groups was undertaken, as far as possible, so that the major groups formed consist of minor groups which have a degree of similarity in terms of social, cultural, economic and political characteristics. This creates distinct and geographically coherent groups comprising countries which are, generally speaking, similar in terms of their characteristics. In principle, major groups are formed so that they lie entirely within a single geographic continent. This is not the case in two instances. The Major Group North Africa and the Middle East lies across the boundary separating the continents of Africa and Asia, and the Major Group Americas includes the continents of North and South America.
The countries of North Africa are included in a major group with the Middle East because they are socially and culturally similar to many Arabian countries. To include them in a group with Sub-Saharan countries from which they are geographically, environmentally and culturally removed would not be in harmony with the principles of the classification or useful for social and population statistics. In many economic statistics, however, the continental classification of Africa and Asia is appropriate and is adopted as an output view of the data.
The classification criteria and the way they have been applied has produced a classification structure that can be described in conventional terms: countries grouped to form minor groups on the basis of geographic proximity and similarity in terms of cultural, social, economic and political characteristics; and minor groups aggregated to form major groups on the basis of geographic proximity and a degree of similarity in terms of their characteristics.
The SACC also includes a number of alternative groupings which are not based on the criteria used to form the groups of the geographically based classification structure. The alternative groupings are, in the main, conventional, internationally recognised associations or organisations of member countries or economies which serve economic and political purposes. For example, the SACC includes the following groupings of countries: Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), European Union (EU), etc. (see Alternative Country Groupings).
The theoretical and conceptual considerations for developing the structure of the classification were applied in conjunction with other considerations such as the feasibility of the classification for collecting data from both statistical and administrative collections, the ease of implementing the classification in statistical and administrative systems, the analytical usefulness of data collected within the framework of the classification, and the structural and statistical balance of the classification.
An important consideration in developing any classification for statistical purposes is to achieve a structure that is physically and statistically balanced. This is necessary to allow the classification to fulfil its functions in a way that is useful and practical for presenting and analysing statistical data, especially from sample surveys.
Physical balance is achieved by developing a classification that has manageable and roughly similar numbers of sub-categories within each category at a particular level. The desire to achieve this result is, of course, tempered by the need to accurately reflect the real world.
Statistical balance means that no major or minor group should represent an inordinate number of observations (say, Country of Birth responses), and that each major and minor group should represent a significant number of observations. Thus, a classification used for the dissemination of statistics should not have categories at the same level in its hierarchy which are too disparate in their population size. This allows the classification to be used effectively for the cross-tabulation of aggregate data and the dissemination of data from sample surveys. An important use of the SACC is to classify Country of Birth data. Birthplace data from the 1996 Census of Population and Housing were used to test and modify the structure of the first edition of the SACC on the basis of statistical balance.
Application of the classification criteria in a straightforward manner generally led to a harmonious and symmetrical classification structure. However, considerations of practicality, usefulness and statistical balance were also used in developing the structure in certain areas, such as in splitting Europe into two major groups, and in combining the two American continents to form one major group. The consideration of these additional factors did not impinge on correct application of the classification criteria.
Continuity of data (the preservation of statistical time series) was noted as an important issue by many users consulted during the development of the SACC. The ABS acknowledges the importance of the continuation of time series for long-term analysis, continuity of policy making, etc. However, the need to update and improve the classification structure was imperative despite the potential for disrupting time series. In the interests of data comparability, the ABS urges users and providers of country data to collect, classify and disseminate data using the SACC.
Users may wish to convert historical data from the first edition of SACC to SACC, Second Edition. To facilitate this process, correspondences between the structures of the two editions are provided in Appendixes 2 and 3. Because, in most cases, the base-level units of the classification (countries) are identical, the correspondences are very straightforward. The correspondences itemise the code linkages between the countries, detail the links between the major groups and the minor groups, and indicate the movement of particular countries between groups in the two structures.
It is acknowledged that there may be circumstances where a few users might need to convert data to the old ASCCSS basis. If so, the first edition of SACC on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au) contains correspondence tables between SACC (1st Edn) and ASCCSS.
To further assist users to minimise the impact of the SACC on data continuity, the ABS has provided a number of authorised standard output groupings of countries for areas such as Europe, the former USSR, etc. (see Authorised Standard Output Options in Alternative Country Groupings).
The SACC has a three-level hierarchical structure.
The third, and most detailed level, of the classification structure consists of the base units which are countries as described above (see Definition of country). The classification consists of 252 third-level units including four 'not elsewhere classified' categories which contain entities that are not listed separately in the classification (see Reserved codes for residual categories).
The second level of the classification structure comprises 27 minor groups, which are groups of neighbouring countries similar in terms of social, cultural, economic and political characteristics. Each minor group lies wholly within the boundaries of a geographic continent. On average minor groups contain 9 countries, with individual minor groups containing between 1 and 27 countries.
The first, and most general, level of the classification structure comprises nine major groups which are formed by aggregating geographically proximate minor groups and, therefore, comprise countries which are broadly similar in terms of social, cultural, economic and political characteristics. Each major group lies wholly within the bounds of a single geographic continent (with two exceptions: North Africa and the Middle East, and Americas). On average, major groups contain three minor groups, with individual major groups containing between two and six minor groups.
The SACC also includes a set of alternative standard groupings of countries based on economic and political criteria to facilitate its use in an extended range of applications. The alternative groupings are, in the main, conventional, internationally recognised associations or organisations of member countries or economies which serve economic and political purposes. These groupings are not part of the structure (see Use of the SACC for economic statistics, and Alternative Country Groupings). A number of authorised standard output options (such as the former USSR) which are also not part of the structure, are provided as output options to facilitate time series maintenance (see Authorised standard output options).
USE OF THE SACC FOR ECONOMIC STATISTICS
At the time the ASCCSS was developed, it was decided not to develop a single classification of countries that would be suitable for collecting and classifying both population and economic statistics. This decision was made because the criteria for grouping countries for economic statistics are often different from those required by users of population statistics.
However, consistency between country statistics for population and economic statistics is achieved by the inclusion of the following elements in the SACC:
Consolidating both the standard geographically based classification and alternative standard country groups within a single classification document adds consistency to the collection, classification and output of country data across all applications. Producers of statistics are able to present information in the most analytically useful form and the comparability of data across collections and fields of interest is enhanced.
Although the groups relating to associations of member countries is used mainly for the presentation of economic statistics, such as the value of exports to ASEAN countries, they can also be used for social statistics, to provide information such as the number of immigrants from ASEAN countries or the number of students from ASEAN countries studying in Australia. The geographically based classification structure can be used to present economic statistics, where appropriate.
STANDARD CODE SCHEME
In the classification structure, a single-digit code represents each major group. For example, the code 1 represents the Major Group Oceania and Antarctica, the code 2 represents the Major Group North-West Europe, and so on, for each major group.
In the classification structure, a two-digit code represents each minor group. The first digit is the code of the major group in which that minor group is included. For example, the code 13 represents the Minor Group Melanesia which is included within Oceania and Antarctica, the code 24 represents the Minor Group Northern Europe which is included within North-West Europe, etc. Minor groups are numbered sequentially within major groups. For example, the codes of the minor groups included within Oceania and Antarctica are numbered 11, 12, 13, etc.
In the classification structure, a four-digit code represents each country. The first two digits are the code of the minor group in which that country is included. For example, the code 1301 represents the country New Caledonia which is included within Melanesia; the code 2401 represents the country Denmark which is included within Northern Europe, etc. Countries are numbered sequentially within minor groups. For example, the codes of the countries included within Melanesia are numbered 1301, 1302, 1303, etc.
It should be noted that countries are not allocated codes ending with the digits '0' or '9'. These are special purpose codes used to denote residual (not elsewhere classified) categories in the case of '9', and supplementary (not further defined) codes in the case of '0'.
The following example demonstrates the code scheme for the countries included within the Minor Group Southern Europe which is one of three minor groups of the Major Group Southern and Eastern Europe.
3 SOUTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPE
31 Southern Europe
3103 Holy See
3107 San Marino
The countries are listed in alphabetical order within minor groups. However, this ordering of units is more expedient than necessary and it is not considered that the addition of any new units, which could disrupt the alphabetical order, will affect the usefulness of the classification. [In fact a break in alphabetical order, such as that displayed in SACC, Second Edition's inclusion of the separate republics of Montenegro and Serbia at the end of the Minor Group South Eastern Europe, is a clear indicator of change from a previous structure.]
Because of political change in the world, it may be necessary from time to time to add countries to, or delete countries from, the classification. If a country needs to be added to the classification, it will be allocated the next available four-digit code of the minor group to which it is being added.
If a country ceases to exist as a separate entity and is, consequently, deleted from the classification, its code will not be re-allocated to another country as this would complicate the storage of time series data. If it is necessary to move a country from one minor group to another, it will be allocated the next available code of the minor group to which it is moved. Its previous code will not be re-allocated.
The SACC code scheme has been devised so that any future changes to the classification structure can be easily accommodated. However, in order that the classification remain a standard, users should not make changes to the structure. Users should contact the ABS and identify any apparent problems they encounter in the course of implementation, data collection or data analysis.
It should be noted that the structural changes between the first edition of SACC and the previous standard country classification (ASCCSS) resulted in code changes for most countries and country groupings. Correspondences providing a link between the SACC and the ASCCSS codes were provided in Appendixes 2 and 3 of the first edition of SACC (see www.abs.gov.au).
The Alternative Country Groupings (country groupings which are not part of the classification structure) have been allocated codes commencing with '06'. For instance, APEC has been allocated code 0601, ASEAN 0602, etc. (see Alternative Country Groupings and Appendix 1 Supplementary Codes). The member countries of each of the alternative groups retain the code they were allocated in the classification structure. For example, the following codes are used for APEC and its members:
0601 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC)
5201 Brunei Darussalam
6101 China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)
6102 Hong Kong (SAR of China)
6203 Korea, Republic of (South)
1201 New Zealand
1302 Papua New Guinea
3308 Russian Federation
8104 United States of America
RESERVED CODES FOR RESIDUAL CATEGORIES
In each minor group of the structure, a four-digit code, consisting of the two digits of the minor group followed by the two digits '99', is reserved as a residual or 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) category. Any geographic area within the region described by a minor group, which is not separately identified in the classification, and not part of one of the separately identified countries, can be included in the residual or 'nec' category.
Because of the comprehensive coverage of the SACC, it has been necessary to create residual categories in four instances only:
1599 Polynesia (excludes Hawaii), nec
8299 South America, nec
9299 Southern and East Africa, nec
These four categories have, therefore, been separately identified as base-level units in the classification (the geographic entities included in these categories can be found in the numerical coding index for population statistics). It should be noted that residual categories are part of the structure of the SACC and should not be used merely to 'dump' responses containing insufficient data to code to a separately identified category of the classification (see Supplementary Codes).
Provision exists in the code structure for the creation of additional residual categories should they become necessary. For instance, it may become necessary to identify a particular geographic area (a minor island, coral atoll, etc.) not considered as part of one of the identified base-level units of the classification. In order that the SACC remains a standard, users should not create residual categories without consulting the ABS. If users consider that an additional residual category is required they should contact the ABS, which will consider any changes requested and issue a revision to the classification, where necessary.
Supplementary codes are used to represent country-like entities and groups of countries (alternative standard country groupings and authorised standard output options) which are not part of the SACC structure, and to process inadequate data in statistical collections. The codes are of five types:
Supplementary codes for inadequate data
Four-digit codes commencing with '000' are supplementary codes included for operational purposes to facilitate the coding of survey responses and other data which present particular problems in that they cannot be allocated a country, minor group or major group code. For instance, '0000' is used to code inadequately described survey responses, '0003' to code not stated responses, etc.
It should be noted that these supplementary codes are not part of the classification structure. They exist for operational reasons only, and no data would be coded to them if sufficiently detailed information were obtained in all instances (see Appendix 1 for a full list of supplementary codes for inadequate data) .
Supplementary codes for economic and other country groups
The SACC provides a single framework for classifying all statistical and administrative data by country for both population and economic statistics. Because the geographically based country groupings of the structure are not always ideal for the presentation of economic data, alternative groupings have been included in the classification document to meet specific output needs. These country groupings are of two types:
These groupings have been allocated unique four-digit codes (beginning with '06') for processing purposes. For example, ASEAN is allocated code 0602, OECD is allocated code 0605, the former USSR is allocated 0613, etc. (see Appendix 1 for a full list of these supplementary codes).
Supplementary codes for economic and other entities
In some instances, the collection and aggregation of data for economic statistics (such as international trade and international investment position statistics) require data to be coded to entities that do not equate directly to a single country, or to countries at all. Such entities have been assigned unique four-digit codes beginning with '07'. For example, 'Belgium and Luxembourg' is allocated code 0704, Reserve Bank Gold is allocated code 0741. It should be noted that although these supplementary codes are not part of the classification structure, they should be considered when aggregating and presenting data for both the structure and the alternative groupings (see Appendix 1 for a full list of these supplementary codes).
Supplementary codes for former countries and other geographic entities
Four-digit codes commencing with '09' are supplementary codes designed to code responses relating to entities which are now defunct as a result of recent political change but which are still regarded as useful for statistical purposes, and entities which are no longer separately identified in the revised classification structure. These codes have two purposes:
For example, the codes 0901-0909 have been assigned to the Australian states and territories to facilitate coding in statistical or administrative collections that require data coded to the state level rather than directly to Australia. Conversely, the code 0912 is used to code responses relating to the former USSR that cannot be coded to one of the newly independent countries which were its former constituents. In some instances, the '09' codes are used to code responses that would otherwise be coded to inadequately described. For example, the response 'Europe' is coded to 0911: 'Europe, not further defined' rather than to code 0000: 'Inadequately Described'.
In some instances the '09' codes provide a more precise alternative than the supplementary codes relating to the structure. For example, responses relating to the former Yugoslavia (which cannot be coded to its constituent countries) can be coded to 0913: 'Former Yugoslavia, not further defined' rather than to code 3200: 'South Eastern Europe, not further defined'. However, the 'Supplementary Codes for Former Countries and Other Geographic Entities' table (in Appendix 1) has been broadened to indicate a flexibility to output to a higher level of the classification structure, if desired. It displays an 'input' option (09..) and a classification 'output' valid code option (see also Editing specifications) that would allow coding to the minor group level via an edit, while still retaining the input detail.
Supplementary codes for the classification structure
Four-digit codes ending with two or three zeros are described as 'not further defined' (nfd) codes. These codes are used to code responses to a survey or administrative question requiring a country response (such as country of birth) which cannot be coded to the most detailed (country) level of the classification but which can be coded to a higher level of the classification structure.
For example, responses relating to geographic areas which cannot be identified as lying within the boundaries of a country separately identified in the classification, but which lie wholly within the boundaries of one of the classification's minor groups, are coded to that minor group. Such responses are allocated a 'not further defined' code consisting of the two-digit code of the minor group followed by '00'. For instance, the response 'Great Britain' does not contain sufficient information to be coded to a country category, but it can be coded to Minor Group 21: United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man which includes all countries considered to be part of Great Britain. It is, thus, allocated the code 2100: United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, nfd.
Similarly, responses relating to geographic areas which cannot be identified as lying within the boundaries of a country separately identified in the classification, or one of the classification's minor groups, but which lie wholly within the boundaries of a major group, are coded to that major group. Such responses are allocated a 'not further defined' code consisting of the one-digit code of the major group followed by '000'. For instance, the response 'South Pacific Islands' does not contain sufficient information to be coded to any particular country category or to any particular minor group, but it can be coded to Major Group 1: Oceania and Antarctica, which includes all countries of the South Pacific. It is thus allocated the code 1000: Oceania and Antarctica, nfd.
Thus, input data which can only be coded at the major or minor group levels of the classification can be processed within a collection coded at the four-digit country level of the classification. This allows the coding process to be as precise as the input data quality allows, preserving data that would otherwise be lost as uncodable or dumped to an inadequately described category. It should be noted that these supplementary codes are not part of the classification structure (see Appendix 1 for a full list of these supplementary codes).
Information provided in statistical and administrative collections does not always comprise the exact words used as the official names of classification categories in the SACC. A coding index is therefore necessary to act as a link between individual responses or items of information and the classification categories (and supplementary codes), enabling data to be coded accurately and quickly to the appropriate category.
The coding index for population statistics has been developed to assist in the implementation and use of the classification and should be used when coding responses to questions relating to country of birth, country of origin, etc., or information from other sources that relates to countries. The coding index has been devised by reference to relevant documents such as atlases, gazetteers, guides to countries, and most importantly, by analysis of ABS data collected over many years. It is thus based on information actually obtained in ABS statistical collections. The coding index has as its most recent basis, the 2006 Census. It contains a comprehensive list of the most probable responses to questions relating to country and their correct classification codes. It also assists in the accurate and timely allocation of country codes for data originating from other sources (see Appendixes 4 and 5 for the population statistics coding index in alphabetical and numerical order).
A coding index specifically designed to assist in the allocation of country codes to economic data is also included in the SACC. This index has been developed for the following reasons:
The coding index for economic statistics thus consists of the following entities:
Of course, users are able to use whichever index best suits their purposes, and refer to the other index as required. For instance, in some administrative settings the smaller economic index may be useful for coding social data, while economic data may sometimes emanate from sources where information is not always provided using the standard names of countries.
In order to distinguish actual categories of the classification structure from other entities included in the coding indexes, the classification categories (major groups, minor groups and countries) have been presented in the population statistics index in bold text (see Appendixes 4 to 7 for coding indexes in both alphabetical and numerical order).
The following rules relate to the coding of information provided by individuals when asked questions about their country of birth, country of origin, etc. The principles used can be applied to information about countries, regions, areas, etc. emanating from other sources which need to be allocated a country code. The rules can be applied to either the economic or the population statistics index.
When coding responses in statistical or administrative collections for population and social statistics, responses which match exactly with an entry in the coding index are assigned the code allocated to that index entry. When responses do not match exactly with an index entry the following rules should be followed. (Some of the examples used do, in fact, appear in the coding index, but are given for illustrative purposes.)
Responses which relate directly to a country category but which contain information additional to that included in the coding index are allocated the code of that country category. Such instances include responses consisting of a full or formal country name (for example, Syrian Arab Republic is coded to Syria), or responses containing a geographic qualifier such as east or west (for example, South of England is coded to England).
Responses which relate directly to a country category but which consist of alternative spellings (for example, Tadzhikistan for Tajikistan), abbreviations (for example, Aust. for Australia), initialisms (for example, USA for United States of America), or foreign language names (for example, Ceska Republika for the Czech Republic) are allocated the code of that country category. Similarly, slang or idiosyncratic responses (for example, Aussie or Oz for Australia) are allocated the code of the country category to which they directly relate.
If a response consists of an archaic or historical name (for example, Persia for Iran) it is necessary to determine the current country or geographic area to which the response relates and allocate the appropriate code: country; minor group, nfd; major group, nfd; or Inadequately Described. It should be noted that special supplementary codes have been assigned to the recently defunct political entities of eastern Europe (former USSR, former Czechoslovakia, etc.) and these codes should be used rather than the standard supplementary codes. In cases where the former entity was larger than any current country's border, but is contained within the region's minor group (such as 0913 Yugoslavia, 0914 Czechoslovakia and 0921 Serbia and Montenegro - within 3200, 3300 and 3200 respectively), the 09.. supplementary code can be utilised as the input code to retain an input count, while an edit can add that count to output at the broader, 3200 or 3300, minor group level, as in the example (see Editing specifications).
Responses which cannot be identified as relating directly to a separately identified country in the classification are assigned a residual category code or a supplementary nfd code as described above (see Reserved codes for residual categories, and Supplementary codes). Responses which do not contain sufficient information to be coded to any category of the classification are assigned the appropriate inadequately described code.
Changes in national boundaries create coding difficulties. In order to maintain consistency of coding in all applications it is preferable that each country response be coded according to national boundaries existing at the time of the data collection. Therefore, all responses relating to a country which currently exists, but which has undergone boundary changes at some time in the past, are coded to the named country. For example, all persons who give their country of birth as 'Germany' are coded to Germany, even though the boundaries of Germany may have changed since they were born and they may have in fact been born in a place that is now in Poland. Birthplace responses which relate to particular cities or regions which are now in one country, but which may have been in another country at the time of birth, should be coded to the country the city or region is in at the time of collection of the data. For example, the response 'Danzig' should be coded to Poland not to Germany and it is included as such in the coding index.
Responses relating to countries which have changed name, without changing boundaries, are coded to the latest name in the classification. Thus the response 'Upper Volta' is coded to 'Burkina Faso'.
LINKS TO ISO CODES
In the interests of compatibility and comparability, and to reinforce the SACC as an Australian statistical standard, the ABS urges the use of the standard four-digit classification codes wherever possible. However, it is acknowledged that in certain circumstances a three-digit code is relevant for dissemination to support international comparison purposes, or is more expedient because of collection, processing and data storage constraints, or because data are provided on administrative records with a three-digit code. In such circumstances the ABS recommends use of the three-digit numeric International Organization for Standardization (ISO) codes published in: Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and their Subdivisions, ISO 3166-1:2006. These can be viewed on www.iso.org - the ISO website.
To assist users, these codes are included in the SACC with a mapping to the standard four-digit codes. This mapping of SACC to ISO codes is presented in the coding indexes, and thus has been done for coding index entries as well as the actual categories of the classification to facilitate the use of ISO codes in statistical systems (see Appendixes 4 to 7). The ISO codes have been included in the SACC by permission of Standards Australia who act on behalf of the ISO in Australia.
In circumstances where standard SACC codes cannot be used, and the ISO codes are used instead, the ABS urges that data be produced and presented within the framework of the SACC (classification structure or alternative standard country groupings).
In some data collections, particularly those relating to international trade, telecommunications and transport statistics, data are often coded using alpha characters. This is because of the possibility for establishing a visual association between a country name and its corresponding code. In the ISO code list, two-character and three-character alpha codes are used to establish this link between the code and the name of the country in English. For example, the two-character and three-character codes for Australia are AU and AUS. These codes are included in the SACC coding indexes with a mapping to the standard four-digit codes. It should be noted that for most statistical purposes numeric codes are regarded as being more useful and conventional than alpha codes. Alpha codes should be avoided unless there is an established reason for using them.
The UN Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use uses the same codes as those issued by the ISO for its country units. It is possible to re-aggregate the SACC units to the groupings of the UN classification for the purposes of international comparison and this is facilitated by the use of ISO codes (see Appendix 8 for the concordance between the SACC and UN classification).
A number of supplementary codes are used in the SACC to process inadequate data, economic and political groupings, and economic and other entities not equating directly to countries. These supplementary categories, which are not included in the ABS standard set of country units, together with the SACC categories at the first and second level of the structure, have been assigned ISO codes not used by the ISO for the recognised country units.
Because some country data are assigned supplementary codes rather than the codes of particular country categories, it is important that in verifying input codes, manipulating data, aggregating data to higher level categories and deriving output items and tables, the full range of valid codes are included in all specifications. For applications using the classification structure, the valid range of codes comprises the following:
Additionally, the following Supplementary Codes for Former Countries and Other Geographic Entities (see Appendix 1), are within valid code ranges of the classification structure:
Other supplementary codes in the list Supplementary Codes for Former Countries and Other Geographic Entities, do not fall in the valid code range for any of the categories of the standard classification. They are provided to assist users to form a number of authorised standard output options (Europe, the former USSR, East Asia, Asia and Africa) or to preserve data that would otherwise be lost. When deriving output items for the classification structure, data coded to these supplementary codes are included in the data for 0000: Inadequately Described.
STORAGE AND PRESENTATION OF DATA
Regardless of the level of aggregation envisaged for the dissemination of statistics for particular collections, data should be captured and stored at the most detailed level of the classification possible. This allows the greatest flexibility for the output of statistics, enables more detailed and complex analysis, facilitates comparisons with previous data using different classifications and preserves information so as to provide maximum flexibility for future use of the data.
However, because of collection and confidentiality constraints, it may not be possible to collect, store or output data at the lower levels of the classification in all instances. The use of a standard classification framework will nevertheless enhance data comparability even though it may not always be possible to disseminate data at the most detailed level.
The hierarchical structure of the classification allows users the flexibility to output statistics at the level of the classification which best suits their particular purposes. Data can be presented at major group level, minor group level, the base or country level, or for one of the Alternative Country Groupings, such as the European Union (see Alternative Country Groupings section for further information). If necessary, significant countries within a minor group can be presented separately while the remaining countries within the minor group are aggregated. The same principle can be adopted to highlight significant minor groups within a major group.
It should be noted that countries from different minor groups should not be added together to form an aggregation not included in the classification framework (structure or Alternative Country Groupings) as this corrupts the application of the classification criteria and has repercussions for data comparability. Similarly, minor groups from different major groups should not be added together. In instances where some countries within a minor group are presented separately while the remaining countries within the minor group are aggregated, the group of aggregated countries should be labelled 'Other', or 'Other (minor group name)', e.g. using Minor Group 24 Northern Europe:
Other Northern Europe
AUTHORISED STANDARD OUTPUT OPTIONS
An exception to the above argument to present data in a standard fashion using the structure or the alternative standard country groupings is made in a number of instances to allow the continuation of time series and to enhance the usefulness of the classification in certain areas. The following output groupings of countries are provided as standard output options. For the content of these groups see Alternative Country Groupings.
In some circumstances there will be a need to present statistics for Europe as a whole rather than for the individual Major Groups, North-West Europe, and Southern and Eastern Europe.
Europe and the former USSR
This entity was a major group in the ASCCSS and is provided for time series purposes.
The former USSR
This entity was a minor group in the ASCCSS and is provided for time series purposes.
The terms 'Asia' or 'Asian' are frequently used in Australia in a manner which refers only to the countries of North-East Asia and South-East Asia. The ABS acknowledges that such an output grouping is useful for Australian statistics and social reporting and has therefore provided a grouping of culturally 'Asian' countries comprising an aggregation of SACC Major Groups South-East Asia and North-East Asia. The name for this output grouping, 'East Asia', is commonly used to describe this group of Asian countries.
ABS experience indicates that many users often wish to disseminate statistics under the broad heading 'Asia', or to refer to 'Asia' or use the adjective 'Asian' in thematic discussion, reports, etc. For general statistical purposes the ABS advises it is not appropriate to aggregate the Minor Group 42 Middle East with the Minor Groups 71 Southern Asia and 72 Central Asia or with the Major Groups 5 South-East Asia and 6 North-East Asia (also commonly described as East Asia in combined output), as the countries from these regions are dissimilar in terms of their cultural, social and economic characteristics.
Where there is a need to provide data to inform discussion on Asia specific issues such as Asian migration or trade with Asia, it may be appropriate to aggregate the Minor Group 71 Southern Asia with the Major Groups 5 South-East Asia and 6 North-East Asia (East Asia). In these circumstances a label such as 'Asian countries' or 'Asian-born' should be used together with an annotation detailing the countries included in the aggregation and stating that countries of the Middle East and Central Asia have been excluded.
SHORT NAMES FOR PUBLICATION
The country names used in the classification correspond, in the main, to the short form country names given in the UN Terminology Bulletin No. 347: Country Names. In a few instances the country name is accompanied by extra information to precisely define the unit it represents, for example, 'China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)'.
Some of the names of the country units and groupings employed in the classification are too long for use in all circumstances, for example, in table stubs. To cater for these circumstances a list of short names for countries and SACC groupings is provided using both 15-character and 30-character labels (see Appendix 9).
SECOND EDITION CHANGES
This SACC, Second Edition reflects a number of changes from the original, 1998 edition.
Three Revisions to the 1998 edition were subsequently issued and they are incorporated here. The main changes were:
The following wording changes were made to the classification itself (as well as the Population and Economic Statistics Indexes):
Changed in name:
2100 United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man - was United Kingdom
[Note: The United Kingdom alone, would now be the aggregation of 2102 England, 2104 Northern Ireland, 2105 Scotland & 2106 Wales.]
2402 Faroe Islands - was Faeroe Islands
5105 Vietnam - was Viet Nam
6101 China (excludes SARs and Taiwan) - was China (excludes SARs and Taiwan Province)
7206 Kyrgyzstan - was Kyrgyz Republic
Added to the classification:
1513 Pitcairn Islands - was in 1599 Polynesia (excludes Hawaii), nec, as Pitcairn Island
2107 Guernsey - was part of 2101 Channel Islands
2108 Jersey - was part of 2101 Channel Islands
2408 Aland Islands - was part of 2403 Finland, as Aland
3216 Kosovo - was part of 3215 Serbia
4108 Spanish North Africa - was in 4199 North Africa, nec
8431 St Barthelemy - was in 8413 Guadeloupe
8432 St Martin (French part) - was in 8413 Guadeloupe
Removed from the classification:
2101 Channel Islands - both bailiwicks separately identified as 2107 Guernsey, and 2108 Jersey
4199 North Africa, nec - all parts now in 4108 Spanish North Africa
The 1998 (first edition) of SACC included indexes based on responses to the 'Country of Birth of Person' question in the 1996 Census of Population and Housing, while SACC, Second Edition includes responses to that question in the 2006 Census.
Note that only SACC Second Edition entries appear in this publication's indexes. Where an entry's first edition code was different, this is listed under the 'SACC 1st Edn' heading. Where it was not in the first edition, ni (not included) appears under the 'SACC 1st Edn' heading. Where it appeared in the first edition, but was removed for the Second Edition, no entry appears.
Those persons still wanting to utilise the 1990-released ASCCSS, should refer to the first edition of SACC (1998) on the ABS website www.abs.gov.au for comparative coding.
1101 Darnley Island - was Darnley Islands
1301 Loyalty Islands - was Loyalty Island
1303 Rennell Island - was 1101
1304 Malakula - was Malecula
1400 Ladrone Islands - was 1406
1400 Marianas Islands - was 1406
1502 Rotumah Island - was 1304
1513 Pitcairn Island - was 1599
2102 Angleterre - was Angleterra
2105 Lewis - was Lewis Island
2107 Alderney - was 2101
2107 Sark - was 2101
2304 Anhalt - was 2401
2304 Baden Wurttemberg - was Baden Wurttemburg
2304 Saxe Meiningen - was Saxemeiningen
2304 Wurttemberg - was Wurttemburg
3000 Banat - was 3211
3000 Bukovina - was 3211
3000 Galicia - was 3307
3200 Thrace - was 3207
3207 Achaea - was Akhaia
3207 Aghion Oros - was Afghion Oros
3207 Chalkidiki - was Khalkidiki
3207 Chios - was Khios
3207 Kastelorizo - was Kastelloriza
3207 Kefalonia - was Kefalinia
3207 Magnesia - was Magnessia
3207 Peloponnese - was Peleponnese
3207 Peloponnisos - was Peloponnessos
3207 Phocis - was Phokis
3207 Trikala - was Trikkala
4000 United Arab States - was 4200
4206 Transjordan - was Trans Jordan
4215 Smyrna - was Smirni
4216 Umm Al Quwain - was Umm Al Qawain
5105 Gia Lai - was Gia Lai Kon Tum
5200 Straits Settlements - was 5205
5200 Sunda Islands - was 5000
5202 Billiton Island - was Billiton Islands
5202 Bintan Island - was Bintan Islands
5202 Bintang Island - was Bintang Islands
5202 Moluccas - was Mollucas
5203 Saratok - was 3308
6101 Kwang Chou Wan - was Kwang Chau Wan
6202 Chosan - was 6203
6202 Chosen - was 6203
7103 Nicobar Islands - was Nicobar Island
7103 Yanaon - was 5202
7200 Transcaucasia - was Trans Caucasia
8200 Patagonia - was 8201
9000 Portuguese Africa - was 9200
9100 French Central Africa - was 9000
9121 Upper Senegal - was 9126
9214 Rodrigues - was Rodriguez
9223 Desroches Island - was Des Roches Island
9224 Somaliland - was 9200
9299 French Southern Territories - was French Southern and Antarctic Territories
1101 Rennel Island
1302 Port Moresby
2102 Isle of Sheppey
2102 Isles of Scilly
3202 Republika Srpska
3202 Yugoslavia Bosnia
3204 Yugoslavia Croatia
3205 Northern Cyprus
3206 Yugoslavia Macedonia
3215 Yugoslavia Serbia
3311 Slovenska Republika
3312 Ukraine USSR
4102 Port Said
4202 Beit Jala
5105 Kon Tum
5202 West Timor
6105 ROC Taiwan
7107 Tamil Eelam
9000 Central Africa
9100 West Africa
2304 Saze Meiningen
5202 Billitong Islands
Alternative Country Groupings
0603 European Economic Area (EEA) and 0604 European Union (EU):
Insert 3203 Bulgaria and 3211 Romania
0617 Arab League and 0618 Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU), have been added.
Appendix 1: Supplementary Codes
Nfd codes have been added for all Alternative Standard Country Groupings, under 'Supplementary Codes for Economic and Other Entities'
Channel Islands and United Kingdom have both been added to the 'Supplementary Codes for Former Countries and Geographic Entities' listing
Appendices 6 & 7: Coding Indexes for Economic Statistics
0717 French Southern Territories - was French Southern and Antarctic Territories
Substitute '0746 Unallocated' with '0746 Australia (includes External Territories, Australian Antarctic Territory and Norfolk Island)' to reflect the inclusion of Norfolk Island in Australia's economic territory
'0747 Zone of Coop A-Timor Gap (economic cooperation zone in the Timor Gap administered jointly by Australia and Indonesia)' updated to reflect East Timor and the JPDA (Joint Petroleum Development Area). Changed to:
1513 Pitcairn Islands - was 0738 Pitcairn Island
This page last updated 12 February 2013
Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.