1216.0.15.003 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Area Correspondences, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/2011  First Issue
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides a range of correspondence files that enable users to convert data from one type of geographic area to another.

The Remoteness Area (RA) correspondence files provided in this publication are all population based correspondences.

Population based correspondences are produced when both geographic areas being compared, are made up of whole base units, in this case Census Collection Districts (CDs). 2006 population based correspondences are calculated on the population of 2006 CDs. The CD was the smallest geographical unit used for the collection and dissemination of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing data. CDs covered the whole of Geographic Australia without gaps or overlaps and CDs were the building blocks for all 2006 ABS geographies.

A population based correspondence can be used to translate statistics aggregated by the “From Area” to the “To Area” aggregations. The population ratio is calculated by summing the populations of the CDs of the “From Area” within a “To Area” and expressing this as a percentage of the total populations of the CDs of the “From Area”.

File Naming Convention for Standard Correspondences

1"C" for Calculated Ratio file
2“P” for Population Based Calculation
3 - 6Year of To Area
7 -9Type of To Area "RA"
11 - 14Year of From Area
15 - 17Type of From Area eg, "POA" (Note 1)

Note 1: In some cases the Area type is two characters, eg “CD”, adjust character count appropriately – See Appendix 1 for a list of the different acronyms.

For example
“CP2006RA_2006SSC.txt” is the text file containing the information corresponding 2006 SSC TO 2006 RA.

File Format for Standard Correspondences

Correspondence files are comma-delimited text files. The file structure, from left to right, is listed below.

Field NameType
To area CodeCharacter
To area NameCharacter
From area CodeCharacter
From area NameCharacter

Field Names will vary from file to file but are consistent in nature. The field name is constructed from the area type and date. For example the code field from the 2006 SLA file will have the name "SLA_MAINCODE_2006", and the name field from the 2006 SLA file will have the name "SLA_NAME_2006".

It is important to note the placement/ positioning convention as it is similar to the file naming convention.

Ratio - figures expressed as part of 1.

Percentage - figures expressed as a percentage ranges from 0 to 100.


The examples are from the population based correspondence CP2006RA_2006SLA.txt. There are a few different ways in which one can interpret the data from a population based correspondence file.

It can be used to find out what “From Areas” population make up a specific “To Area”. In this case one can determine what 2006 SLAs population make up the 2006 RA for NSW of Very Remote Australia.

14Very Remote Australia125108859Lord Howe Island1100
14Very Remote Australia135107900Walgett (A)0.04124.12
14Very Remote Australia135151150Bourke (A)0.310431.04
14Very Remote Australia135151200Brewarrina (A)0.386338.63
14Very Remote Australia135151750Cobar (A)0.06146.14
14Very Remote Australia160101700Central Darling (A)0.690269.02
14Very Remote Australia160108809Unincorp. Far West0.493249.32

As the “From Area” and “To Area” naming convention is mathematically based, files are interpreted as “To Area” = “From Area” multiplied by ratio.

The estimated value for 2006 NSW Very Remote Australia from 2006 SLA data would be:
    14 (Very Remote Australia) = 125108859 (Lord Howe Island) data multiplied by 1
    14 (Very Remote Australia) = 135107900 (Walgett (A)) data multiplied by 0.0412
    14 (Very Remote Australia) = 135151150 (Bourke (A)) data multiplied by 0.3104
    14 (Very Remote Australia) = 135151200 (Brewarrina (A)) data multiplied by 0.3863
    14 (Very Remote Australia) =135151750 (Cobar (A)) data multiplied by 0.0614
    14 (Very Remote Australia) =160101700 (Central Darling (A)) data multiplied by 0.6902
    14 (Very Remote Australia) = 160108809 (Unincorp. Far West) data multiplied by 0.4932,49

Alternatively the same population based correspondence file can be used to find out what “To Areas” the “From Areas” population are divided into. In this case one can determine what different RAs the population from Bourke (A) falls within.

13Remote Australia135151150Bourke (A)0.689668.96
14Very Remote Australia135151150Bourke (A)0.310431.04

This outlines that 68.96% of the Bourke (A) SLA’s 2006 population falls within Remote Australia (NSW) and 31.04% of Bourke (A) SLA’s 2006 population falls within Very Remote Australia (NSW).


For enquiries please contact the ABS by email at:


Appendix 1

Statistical Geography Acronyms

CDCensus Collection District
LGALocal Government Area
POAPostal Area
RARemoteness Classification
SDStatistical Division
SLAStatistical Local Area
SSCState Suburb
SSDStatistical Sub Division
UCLUrban Centres and Localities
SOSSection of State
SEDState Electoral Division
CEDCommonwealth Electoral Division
STEState and/or Territory

Copyright: Commonwealth of Australia administered by the ABS