ABOUT THE CLASSIFICATION
The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) provides guidelines for consistent collection, aggregation and dissemination of statistics by country. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) endorses the use of this classification when collecting, aggregating and disseminating data relating to characteristics such as birthplace and country of residence. In addition to its use by the ABS, the SACC is also designed for use in the broader Australian statistical community, including government agencies, private companies and community organisations.
The country names within the SACC reflect country titles recognised by the Australian Government. The ABS monitors changes in the official recognition of country titles by the Australian Government and updates the SACC as necessary to ensure the classification remains current. The identification of countries and country groups within the SACC does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of the ABS regarding the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
DEFINITION OF 'COUNTRY'
Countries are the most detailed categories of the classification (e.g. '1505 Samoa', '5204 Philippines'). While the majority of these categories are independent and sovereign nation states, a number of other national entities are also separately identified as countries within the classification. For example, the Caribbean island state of Martinique ('8416 Martinique') is separately listed within the classification even though it is a detached region of France rather than an independent nation state.
The SACC adopts a broad definition of 'country' that includes the following national entities:
- Sovereign nation states (e.g. Australia, Indonesia, Philippines)
- Administrative subdivisions within some sovereign states (e.g. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are devolved administrations of the United Kingdom)
- External territories and dependencies (e.g. the Falkland Islands – a British overseas territory). These categories are discrete geographic areas with varying degrees of political and economic autonomy. In general, they are physically isolated from the country to which they are dependent.
- Regions under disputed ownership or control (e.g. Western Sahara region of North Africa).
The use of a broad definition of country within the SACC ensures that all current national entities of the world are within the scope of the classification.