1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) - 2006, Jul 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 4 Statistical District Structure


The S Dist. Structure maintains a list of selected, significant, predominantly urban areas in Australia which are not located within a Capital City SD. S Dists enable comparable statistics to be produced about these selected urban areas. In the main, the structure is used to report intercensal population estimates.

S Dists are maintained as a separate structure from the Main Structure because:

  • the total area of S Dists does not cover the whole of Australia
  • some S Dists straddle S/T boundaries (e.g. the Gold Coast-Tweed S Dist. lies partly in Queensland and partly in New South Wales).


The S Dist. Structure has four levels of hierarchy in census years, comprising in ascending order: CDs-SLAs-SSDs-S Dists. In non-census years, with CDs undefined, it has only three levels of hierarchy (see ASGC Structural Chart, Chapter 1).

In this structure, CDs, SLAs and SSDs are confined to those which fall within S Dists. The spatial units relate to each other through aggregation or disaggregation. For example, CDs aggregate to SLAs while SLAs are disaggregates of SSDs. The spatial units within each level of the S Dist. Structure do not collectively cover the whole of Australia.


The current S Dist. Structure, down to SLA level, is shown in Chapter 14, The Classification Structures.

For example:

  • Statistical District Structure

(showing three hierarchical levels: S Dist.-SSD-SLA)
Diagram: Statistical District Sturcture


Census Collection District (CD)

Statistical Local Area (SLA)

Statistical Subdivision (SSD)

For discussion about these spatial units see Chapter 2, Main Structure.

Statistical District (S Dist.)

S Dists are predominantly urban areas, the boundaries of which are designed to contain the anticipated urban spread of the area for at least 20 years. They are generally defined as containing an urban centre population of 25,000 or more.

S Dists consist of one or more SSDs. S Dists do not aggregate to any higher level spatial units (see ASGC Structural Chart, Chapter 1).

There are 36 S Dists in this edition of the ASGC. Three of these straddle two states: Albury-Wodonga (New South Wales/Victoria), Gold Coast-Tweed (Queensland/New South Wales) and Canberra-Queanbeyan (Australian Capital Territory/New South Wales).

Delimitation of S Dists

The criteria for delimiting S Dists are as follows:

  • S Dists consist of one or more urban centres (outside Capital City SDs) in close proximity with a population of 25,000 or more
  • S Dist. boundaries are defined in anticipation of urban development of at least 20 years
  • S Dists consist of one or more SSDs
  • S Dists may cut across LGA boundaries
  • S Dists may cut across S/T boundaries
  • an S Dist. may be delimited for an urban centre with less than 25,000 population, where the ABS can determine a demand for intercensal population estimates for the area and the existing LGA/SLA boundaries are inadequate for this purpose.

S Dist. name

S Dist. names include a suffix which identifies the state(s)/territory in which the S Dist. is located.


      Newcastle (NSW)
      Albury-Wodonga (NSW/VIC)

S Dist. code

S Dists are identified by four-digit codes which are unique within Australia. The first two digits indicate the S/T(s) in which the S Dist. is located. For the three S Dists which cover two states, the first digit is the code of the predominant state and the second digit is the code of the other state. For the other S Dists which fall entirely within one S/T, the first digit is the S/T code and the second digit is 0. The last two digits are allocated in ascending numerical order. Gaps are left between codes for future expansion.


      Newcastle (New South Wales) 1003
      Albury-Wodonga (New South Wales/Victoria) 1218
      Gold Coast-Tweed (Queensland/New South Wales) 3139
      Canberra-Queanbeyan (Australian Capital Territory/New South Wales) 8196

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