1266.0 - Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG), 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/11/1996   
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Contents >> Chapter 1: Explanatory notes >> Classification structure and expanded classification

Classification structure

The ASCRG has a three-level hierarchical structure.

The third and most detailed level of the classification consists of the base units which are Religious Groups as described above (see: Definition of religion). The classification consists of 107 base or third-level units. Some Religious Groups are 'not elsewhere classified' (nec) categories, which contain entities that are not listed separately in the classification. This level of the classification can be termed the 'Religious Group' level.

The second level of the classification comprises 33 Narrow Groups of Religious Groups similar in terms of the classification criteria. Narrow Groups contain between one and 14 Religious Groups.

The first and most general level of the classification comprises seven Broad Groups. These are formed by aggregating Narrow Groups (and hence Religious Groups) which are broadly similar in terms of the classification criteria. Broad Group seven comprises entities which are not of the order of Religious Groups (see: Scope of the classification).

Expanded classification

The base-level units of the classification are Religious Groups which are of the order of groups of religions, religions, and subsets of religions (see: Definition of religion). Therefore, many of the base-level units are comprised of a number of further discrete religious entities which can be separately itemised. These entities are related to particular Religious Groups on the basis of administrative or organisational links, or because of a close similarity in terms of the classification criteria. An expanded classification structure listing these sub-third-level entities is provided so that the definition, nature, extent and boundaries of the base units of the classification is clearer. This will improve the usefulness of the classification for data analysis, policy making and service provision. It should be noted, however, that the purpose of this listing is to provide indicative information on the content of each base-level unit, and should not be considered as exhaustive or prescriptive. More detailed information on the content of each base-level unit may be found in Appendix 3.

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