Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is the Australian Bureau of Statistics' new geographical framework and it is effective from July 2011. The ASGS replaces the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). The ASGS has been utilised for release of data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, however 2011 Census data is also available on ASGC Statistical Local Areas (SLAs). The vast majority of ABS spatial data will be based on the ASGS by 2014.
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Structure Diagram
ASGS 2011 Structure and Summary.pdf
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Roadshow Presentation
ASGS Roadshow Presentation.pdf
Understanding ABS Statistical Geography Video Tutorial
Understanding ABS Statistical Geography
Duration: 10:10 minutes Size:
Video transcript - Understanding ABS Statistical Geography.pdf
REGIONS OF THE ASGS
The ASGS brings all the regions used by the ABS to output data under the one umbrella. They are divided into two broad categories:
1. ABS Structures, those regions which are defined and maintained by the ABS.
2. Non-ABS Structures, those regions defined and maintained by other organisations, but for which the ABS supplies data.
The ABS Structures are a hierarchy of regions developed for the release of particular ABS statistics. Their components are described below.
Mesh Blocks (MBs) are the smallest area geographical region. There are approximately 340,000 covering the whole of Australia. They broadly identify land use such as: residential, commercial, agriculture and parks etc. Residential and agricultural Mesh Blocks usually contain 30 to 60 households. Mesh Blocks are the building block for all the larger regions of the ASGS. Only limited Census data, total population and dwelling counts will be released at the Mesh Block level.
Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s) are the smallest region for which a wide range of Census data will be released. They have an average population of about 400. They are built from whole Mesh Blocks and there are approximately 55,000 covering the whole of Australia.
Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s) have an average population of about 10,000, with a minimum population of 3,000 and a maximum of 25,000. The SA2s are the regions for which the majority of ABS sub-state intercensal data, for example Estimated Resident Population and Health and Vital Statistics, will be released. There are about 2,200 SA2s, built from whole SA1s.
Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s) are a medium sized region with a population of 30,000 to 130,000. They represent the functional areas of regional cities and large urban transport and service hubs. They are built from whole SA2s.
Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s) will be used for the release of Labour Force Statistics. They are built from whole SA3s.
Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs) represent the socio-economic extent of each of the eight state and territory capital cities. It includes the people who regularly socialise, shop or work within the city, but live in the small towns and rural areas surrounding the city.
Urban Centres and Localities (UCLs) and Section of State (SOS) represents areas of concentrated urban development. It consists of Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s) aggregated together to form regions defined according to population density and other criteria. It defines Urban Areas and rural "bounded localities".
Significant Urban Areas (SUAs) represent concentrations of urban development with a population of 10,000 or more using whole Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s). They do not necessarily represent a single Urban Centre, as they can represent a cluster of related Urban Centres with a core urban population over 10,000. They can also include related peri-urban and satellite development and the are into which the urban development is likely to expand.
The Remoteness Areas (RAs) divides each state and territory into several regions on the basis of their relative access to services.
The ABS Structures comprise six interrelated hierarchies of regions. They are:
Diagram 1 depicts the various ABS Structures, their component regions and how they interrelate.
DIAGRAM 1: ASGS ABS STRUCTURES.
Non-ABS Structures are approximated or built directly from Mesh Blocks or SA1s. The Non-ABS Structures include important regions such as: Local Government Areas (LGAs), postal areas, state gazetted suburbs and electoral divisions. LGAs remain part of the ASGS and the ABS will continue to support LGAs with the data it currently provides.
The Non-ABS Structures comprise eight hierarchies of regions which are not defined or maintained by the ABS, but for which the ABS is committed to providing a range of statistics. They generally represent administrative regions and are approximated by Mesh Blocks, SA1s or SA2s. They are:
DIAGRAM 2: ASGS NON-ABS STRUCTURES.
RELEASE OF THE ASGS
The first ASGS publication 1270.0.55.001 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 was released in December 2010 and contains the digital boundaries, labels and codes for the Mesh Blocks, the SA units and Greater Capital Cities SAs.
The publication 1270.0.55.002 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 2 - Indigenous Structure, July 2011 was released 20 September 2011.
The Non-ABS Structures publication 1270.0.55.003 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 3 - Non ABS Structures, July 2011 was released 22 July 2011 and contains the digital boundaries, labels and codes for the Non-ABS Structures listed above.
The fourth ASGS publication 1270.0.55.004 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 4 - Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities, Section of State, July 2011 was released 16 October 2012.
The fifth ASGS publication 1270.0.55.005 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011 was released 31 January 2013.
The regions defined in the ABS Structures will not change until the next Census in 2016. The Non-ABS Structures will be updated only if the ABS considers that there are major changes to the administrative boundaries they represent. The changes will be approximated with whole Mesh Blocks or SA1s.
If you have any questions regarding the ASGS please email email@example.com
This page last updated 19 March 2013