1308.7 - Inform NT, Mar 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/03/2010   
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On this page:
Review of the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Helping You Make Sense of Statistics
NatStats 2010 Conference
New Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)


The ABS review of the CPI is underway. The CPI is a main economic indicator, measuring inflation faced by Australian households for goods and services. The review is focusing on the topics of: the principal purpose of the CPI; the compilation frequency of the CPI; an evaluation of the deposit and loan facilities index; maintaining the relevance of the CPI; commodity classification; analytical series; and other issues.

As part of the review process, the ABS has been consulting widely. Thank you to all those who attended the public forum held in Darwin on 9 March 2010, and/or provided a written submission.

For more information on the nature and content of the review and its progress, please refer to Issues to be considered during the 16th Series Australian Consumer Price Index Review, Dec 2009 (cat. no. 6468.0).


The ABS recently released a suite of Understanding Statistics webpages on the ABS website. These webpages provide a centralised portal on the ABS website for all information and resources with a statistical literacy focus.

The Understanding Statistics webpages contain a range of fact sheets, information guides, video tutorials, presentations and online courses to help users:

  • find the statistics they are looking for
  • understand statistical concepts and processes
  • analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information
  • communicate statistical findings with tables and graphs.
There are several other educational resources produced by the ABS such as the Introduction to Statistics online course and the Online Video Tutorials which provide a comprehensive overview of statistics and also how to find specific information on the ABS website.


The ABS will be hosting another NatStats Conference at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, on 15-17 September 2010.

An exciting program is being developed and will address a range of issues regarding national statistics. Please visit the NatStats 2010 Conference webpage for more information or email natstats@nss.gov.au.


On 1 July 2011 the ABS will replace the current Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The ASGS will be used for the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. The current ABS geography structure such as Collection Districts (CDs), Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs) and Statistical Divisions (SDs) will be replaced by mesh blocks and Statistical Area Levels 1 to 4.

Mesh blocks are the smallest geographical region and are the building blocks for the larger regions of the ASGS. Only limited Census data, total population and dwelling counts will be released at the mesh block level.

Statistical Area Level 1s (SA1s) will be the smallest region for which a wide range of Census data will be released, and will have an average population of about 400.

Statistical Area Level 2s (SA2s) will have an average population of 10,000 and will be built from SA1s. These will be the regions that the majority of sub-state intercensal data, such as estimated resident population, will be released.

Statistical Area Level 3s (SA3s) will be built from SA2s and will represent functional areas of regional cities and large urban transport and service hubs.

Statistical Area Level 4s (SA4s) will be built from SA3s and used for the release of labour force statistics.

Other ABS structures (e.g. Remoteness) and non-ABS structures (e.g. Local Government Areas) will also form part of the ASGS.

Further information about the ASGS can be found in the Information Paper: Outcome from The Review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification, 2008 (cat. no. 1216.0.55.002).