The State and Territory (S/T) is the largest spatial unit in the Main Structure and in the ASGC. Six States and five Territories are recognised in the ASGC: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory and the external Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
These spatial units are political entities with fixed boundaries. Except for the last three mentioned territories, the total area of each S/T, including their off-shore islands, is used for statistical purposes as a separate spatial unit in the ASGC. Jervis Bay Territory, and the Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are included as one spatial unit at the S/T level under the category of Other Territories.
S/Ts consist of one or more SDs. In aggregate, they cover Australia (as defined in chapter 1) without gaps or overlaps.
S/Ts are identified by unique one-digit codes within Australia as follows:
This coding order has been widely used in the ABS and other organizations as a standard for many years. The order was reviewed when Western Australia displaced South Australia as the fourth most populous State. Citing the Commonwealth Table of Precedence, which adopted a revised listing such that any textual material having protocol significance should list Western Australia before South Australia, some users requested the code for Western Australia be changed to four and South Australia to five. For the ASGC however, the above order was maintained to ensure historical continuity, to reduce potential errors in data handling and interpreting, and to avoid costs associated with changing existing systems.