1216.0.55.003 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard: Design of the Statistical Areas Level 4, Capital Cities and Statistical Areas Level 3, May 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2010  First Issue
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The SA3s have the least precise criteria of any level of the ASGS. The ABS does not intend to collect any data at the SA3 level not already available at the SA2 level. There are therefore no statistical criteria that are not already accommodated at the SA2 level. The population of the SA3s is expected to be between 30,000 and 130,000. A lower population limit slightly larger than the most populous of the SA2s and the upper similar to that anticipated for the least populous SA4s.

Functional areas are a consideration in SA3 design; one or more SA3s should be able to represent a regional city and its area of economic influence. In much of remote and outer regional Australia, this is not possible, because of the absence of such regional cities. In these areas, the SA3s should represent areas that are meaningful to users, for example the Wimmera in Victoria or the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

Apart from functional areas other factors that can be taken into consideration are:

  • the indigenous population
  • the regional economy
  • topography
  • regional identity.