1270.0.55.007 - Australian Population Grid, 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2014  First Issue
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  • Metadata for Australian Population Grid

Please Note: This publication can be viewed in three formats:

  • ESRI Grid format which can only be opened in a Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • GeoTIFF format is a Tagged Image File Format (TIFF). It is a raster graphics file format that is widely supported by graphics software. The Geo extension to the TIFF format is a metadata storage format which allows georeferencing information (datums, ellipsoid, coordinate systems, map projection) to be embedded within the TIFF file. These metadata allows Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software, such as MapInfo, ArcGIS or QGIS, to correctly interpret the location of the image and compare the image with other spatial referenced data.
  • PNG format is a Portable Network Graphics File (PNG). It is a raster graphics file format that is widely supported by graphics software including those bundled with the major operating systems (Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X & iOS). The objective of publishing in PNG format is to allow users to quickly visualise a "picture" of these data.

How the Australian Population grid was created

The population grid was built from published, perturbed Mesh Block values of Usual Resident Population (URP) from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

All Mesh Blocks with a URP value greater than zero were identified. Within these Mesh Blocks all residential dwelling locations were identified using a variety of sources including the Geocoded National Address File (GNAF), the Australian Government Indigenous Programs & Policy Locations (AGIL), Locality point locations from the Public Sector Mapping Agency (PSMA) and the Gazetteer 2012 from Geoscience Australia (GA ). The vast majority (over 99.9%) of the points used to model the population grid were sourced from GNAF.

The February 2012 edition of GNAF was used to represent August 2011 (Census night) as there is some lag in the appearance of addresses in GNAF.

Within each populated Mesh Block the 2011 URP was distributed equally across all the residential dwellings. The average value assigned to each dwelling was then summed within each 1km˛ grid cell across the country. Figure 1 provides a pictorial view of this process. Looking at the three coloured Mesh Blocks that intersect the central grid cell (in red), the blue Mesh Block has a total population of 16 people which was distributed evenly across the 5 points giving each point an average population of 3.2 people. The pink Mesh Block had an average of 5 people per point, and the orange Mesh Block had an average of 2 people per point. The population of the central grid cell is calculated by summing the six points it contains, giving a population of 20.4 (2+2+5+5+3.2+3.2).

Figure 1 : Example of modelling Mesh Block data to grid using GNAF points

Figure 1: Image describing how Mesh Block data is converted to a grid using points.

A small number of Mesh Blocks have a Usual Resident Population but contain no points in any of the data sets used to produce the population grid. For these Mesh Blocks, synthetic points were generated evenly across the Mesh Block. The number of synthetic points used was equal to the number of dwellings published in the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

Capital city boundaries

Australian capital city statistics calculated in this publication used the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSA) boundaries which are part of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2011. The boundary used for London was the Unitary Authority of Greater London for 2011.

List of Data Sources

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