1270.0.55.003 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 3 - Non ABS Structures, July 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/07/2011  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All  
Contents >> Postal Areas >> Postal Areas


Postal Areas (POAs) are an ABS approximation of Australia Post postcodes.


The boundaries and census statistics produced for POAs are constructed from Statitical Area Level 1 (SA1) based on the method described in Chapter 1.

POA allocations have been determined using the best available information on postcode boundaries. Unfortunately, official maps of postcode boundaries have not been updated since the early 1990s and none of the more recent digital interpretations have been endorsed by Australia Post. Therefore, users should be aware of the limitations of the POA classification.

Some Australia Post postcodes are not included in the POA classification. For example, in some cases there is no SA1 which can be allocated to a particular Australia Post postcode. This occurs in two cases:

  • where a SA1 covers two or more whole postcodes, the SA1 can only be allocated to one; or
  • where more than one SA1 partially covers a postcode but all the SA1s are allocated to other postcodes with which they also share area.

There are also non spatial Australia Post postcodes that do not represent street delivery areas. These are not included in the POA classification.

For the 2011 Census, 2516 POAs are defined to cover the whole of geographic Australia. POAs may cross State or Territory (S/T) borders and where this happens, standard census products will provide data for the whole POA.
      0872 crosses NT/SA/WA
      2540 crosses NSW/OT
      2618 crosses NSW/ACT
      2620 crosses NSW/ACT
      3585 crosses Vic./NSW
      3644 crosses Vic./NSW
      4383 crosses Qld/NSW
      4825 crosses Qld/NT

Unclassified, No Usual Address and Migratory-Offshore-Shipping are represented as non spatial objects in the digital boundaries.


POAs are not allocated names since there is no standardised name available for Australia Post postcodes. In most cases the code is repeated in the name field except where S/T boundaries are crossed when a description is added (see example below).


Each POA code is the same as the corresponding four-digit Australia Post postcode. Special purpose codes are included as balancing items. SA1s allocated to these codes are not part of any official POA.
  • POA code 9191 is reserved for cases where people are coded to Unclassified SA1s.
  • POA code 9494 is reserved for cases where people are coded to No Usual Address SA1s.
  • POA code 9797 is reserved for cases where people are coded to Migratory, Off-Shore and Shipping SA1s.


POA Code POA Name

2614 2614
2615 2615
2617 2617
2618 2618 crosses NSW/ACT
2619 2619
9191 Unclassified (Aust.)
9494 No usual address (Aust.)
9797 Migratory - Offshore - Shipping (Aust.)

Australia Post postcodes have changed since the 2006 Census and therefore those used in the POA listing for the 2011 Census may not match those used for the 2006 Census.

Previous PageNext Page