ASGS AND THE FUTURE OF SUB-STATE POPULATION ESTIMATES
THE AUSTRALIAN STATISTICAL GEOGRAPHY STANDARD (ASGS)
In July 2011, the ABS replaced the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The ASGS defines more stable, consistent and meaningful areas than the ASGC and will become the essential reference for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of ABS statistics. ASGC regions such as Census Collection Districts (CCDs), Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and Statistical Divisions (SDs) have been replaced by the new Statistical Levels 1 to 4 (SA1 - SA4). For more information about the ASGS, including maps, labels and codes, see Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).
POPULATION ESTIMATES UNDER THE ASGS
From 2011, the SA2 will be the base spatial unit used to prepare and disseminate sub-state population estimates.
The first set of population estimates under the ASGS will be prepared for 30 June 2011 and released on 31 July 2012 in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 3218.0). This release will contain a time series of estimates for the new geography, as well as estimates based on the old geography. Sub-state population estimates for 30 June 2012 and onwards will only be prepared and released based on the ASGS.
As LGA population estimates are regarded as a crucial ABS output, they will continue to be prepared post 2011. The boundaries on which these LGA estimates will be prepared will be updated each year, in line with official gazetted boundaries for all LGAs.
Sub-state population estimates by age and sex will also continue to be prepared and released under the new geography. Estimates will be prepared at the new SA2 level by single year of age and sex, but will be released on the website in five-year age groups, in Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia (cat. no. 3235.0). The first set of sub-state age and sex estimates under the ASGS will be released on 31 August 2012.
The SA2 population estimates will be broken down into SA1s, which can then be aggregated to form non-ABS structures (Postal Areas, State Suburbs, State Electoral Divisions, Remoteness Areas etc) which make up part of the ASGS. Estimates by Remoteness Areas and Electoral Divisions will be made freely available on the website. Other structures will generally not be released on the website, however will be available on request.
The change in geographic classification means there will be an unavoidable break in time series. To assist users with this break in time series, the ABS plans to prepare historical population estimates under the new geography. The length of the time series will depend on the geographic level and the type of estimate. For larger areas (e.g. capital cities) the ABS is aiming to prepare longer time series. The official time series will be released as part of the July/August 2012 releases of ASGS population estimates. For further information please see Information Paper: Population Estimates under Australia's New Statistical Geography (cat. no. 3219.0.55.001).
To further assist users in the transition to this new geography, 'experimental' population estimates based on the ASGS have been included as part of this release. Estimates at the SA2 level and above for 2001 to 2006 can be found in the Downloads tab of this product. These estimates are not finalised and there may be scope to change. Feedback can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A set of correspondences (concordances) will also be available to assist users in converting data from one geography to another. For a list of correspondences that the ABS intends to release please see the Frequently Asked Questions link in the ABS Geography Portal. Further information on converting data is contained in Information Paper: Converting Data to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard, 2012 (cat. no. 1216.0.55.004).