1270.0.55.005 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011  
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Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 5 – Remoteness Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.005)

Data Currency - 1 July 2011

Presentation Format - Digital boundaries

Custodian - Australian Bureau of Statistics



The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is a hierarchical classification system of geographical regions and consists of a number of interrelated structures. The ASGS brings all the regions for which the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes statistics within the one framework and is used by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. The ASGS has been in effect from the 1 July 2011. The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography and enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.

This product, Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 5 – Remoteness Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.005), is the fifth in a series of volumes that detail the various structures and regions of the ASGS. Its purpose is to outline the conceptual basis for the design of the Remoteness Structure. This product contains several elements including the manual, region names and codes, digital boundaries and maps.

The digital boundaries for Volume 5 of the ASGS represent the 2011 Remoteness Areas (RAs) which are the categories for the Remoteness Structure.


File Nomenclature
File names have the format RA_2011_AUST where:

Within the files, the states and territories (S/T) are identified by unique one digit codes, as in the table below.

State and Territory Codes and Names

1New South Wales
4South Australia
5Western Australia
7Northern Territory
8Australian Capital Territory
9Other Territories

File Attributes
All tables show file type, file name, spatial unit field and the data type.

File Type: Remoteness Areas (RAs)

File Name: RA_2011_AUST

Field (mid/mif)Field (ESRI shp)Data Type
RA_CODE_2011RA_CODE11Character (2)
RA_NAME_2011RA_NAME11Character (50)
STATE_CODE_2011STE_CODE11Character (1)
STATE_NAME_2011STE_NAME11Character (50)


Date of Effect: 1 July 2011


Progress - Completed dataset

Maintenance and Update Frequency
No further update for these boundaries are planned. The Remoteness Structure will be revised for the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.


Stored Data Format
The digital boundary files are in MapInfo Interchange Format (.mid.mif) and ESRI Shapefile (.shp) format.

MapInfo Interchange Format can be imported directly into MapInfo and other common Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or desktop mapping packages. The .mid.mif files are in text format and can be edited and manipulated for import to less common GIS and CAD systems.

The .mid.mif files cannot be used directly with viewing tools such as MapInfo ProViewer.

Access Constraints
Copyright Commonwealth of Australia administered by the ABS. More information available on the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au/Copyright

Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94)

The digital boundary files have the datum specified as 116 (GDA94). Users of MapInfo 6.0 or later are able to load data sets based on GDA94 directly, without transformation. Earlier versions of MapInfo cannot interpret GDA94 correctly and there may be alignment problems between data sets based on this datum and other earlier datums.

Projection - Geographical (i.e. Latitudes and Longitudes)

Geographic Extent - Geographic Australia as defined in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001) released in December 2010.


Mesh Blocks are the building blocks of the ASGS regions. Mesh Block boundaries were created using various sources including the PSMA digital topographic datasets, ABS SLA boundaries, zoning information from state planning agencies and imagery.

Positional Accuracy
Positional accuracy is an assessment of the closeness of the location of the spatial objects in relation to their true positions on the earth's surface.

The positional accuracy includes:

      • a horizontal accuracy assessment
      • a vertical accuracy assessment

Positional accuracy for ABS boundaries is dependent on the accuracy of the features they have been aligned to. ABS boundaries are aligned to a number of layers supplied by PSMA with an accuracy of +/-50 mm.

PSMA layers and their positional accuracy are as follows:
      • Transport and Topography
        +/- 2 meters in urban areas and +/- 10 meters in rural and remote areas
      • CadLite
        +/- 2 meters in urban areas and +/- 10 meters in rural and remote areas
      • Administrative Boundaries
        Derived from the cadastre data from each Australian state and territory jurisdiction
      • Greenspace and Hydrology
        Relative spatial accuracy of these themes reflects that of the jurisdictional source data. The accuracy is +/- 2 metres in urban areas and +/- 10 metres in rural and remote areas

Attribute Accuracy
All codes and labels for the ASGS 2011 Remoteness Structure are fully validated.

Logical Consistency
Spatial units are closed polygons. Attribute records without spatial objects have been included in the data for administrative purposes.

All geographic levels of the 2011 Remoteness Structure are represented.


Any questions or comment can be emailed to geography@abs.gov.au