1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Jul 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/09/2009   
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The ASGS will become the new basis for the publication of the complete range of ABS spatial statistics. The ABS encourages its adoption outside the ABS to facilitate the cross comparison of spatial statistics. The ASGC will continue to be published in its present form until July 2010, with a final abbreviated version published in July 2011, excluding Census Collection Districts (CDs). The 2011 Census of Population and Housing will be released on the 2011 ASGS and the abbreviated ASGC.

The diagram below summarises the structure of the ASGS.

Diagram: ASGS Structural Diagram

The design of the Main Structure of the ASGS will occur throughout 2008 - 2010 and will involve extensive stakeholder consultation.

The first of the new regions to be designed will be the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). This has emerged as the key level in the new Main Structure as it is the level for which the majority of the ABS sub-state intercensal data will be available. SA2s will have a minimum population of 3,000 and a maximum of 25,000, comparable in size to the current Statistical Local Area. They will be finalised in late 2009.

Statistical Area Level 1s (SA1s) are the smallest area for which a wide range of Population Census data will be released. They will be comparable in size to the current Census Collection District (CD). They will be finalised in mid 2010.

Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3) and Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) will be the last regions of the Main Structure to be developed. This will occur in mid 2010. SA4s will be used for the release of Labour Force Statistics and will have a population in the region of 200,000. SA3s are a medium sized unit with a more variable population from 30, 000 to 100,000.

Urban Centres and Localities (UC/L), Section of State (SOS) and Remoteness structures require data from the 2011 Census to be defined. The ABS intends to generate UC/L boundaries on a similar basis to the past. The move to Mesh Blocks will create some differences as they allow a more precise definition of the urban-rural boundary.

The non-ABS structures will be developed up to and beyond the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

Those interested in being consulted over the design of the new Geography or, anyone who has any questions about the new Geography, should e-mail <geography@abs.gov.au>.

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