1386.0 - What's New in Regional Statistics, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/01/2013  Final
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Image: 2011 Census Mesh Block 2011 CENSUS MESH BLOCKS

These datasets are available for download from Census of Population and Housing: Mesh Block Counts, 2011 (cat. no. 2074.0) as Excel spreadsheets and CSV files.

Mesh Blocks are the smallest geographic region in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), and the smallest geographical unit for which Census data are available. In 2011, there are 347,627 Mesh Blocks covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. They broadly identify land use such as residential, commercial, agricultural and parks etc. Mesh Blocks are identified with a unique 11 digit code.

Most residential Mesh Blocks contain approximately 30 to 60 dwellings. Mesh Blocks have been designed to be small enough to aggregate accurately to a wide range of spatial units and thus enable a ready comparison of statistics between geographical areas, and large enough to protect against accidental disclosure. Due to the small size of Mesh Blocks, data are confidentialised and are only released for Basic Person Counts and Dwelling Counts. Map 1 shows a comparison of Mesh Block and Statistical Area Level 1 boundaries for the Statistical Area Level 2 of Bendigo.

Image: Map showing Mesh Blocks and Statistical Area Level 1 boundaries in the Bendigo SA2

For 2011, Mesh Block counts are available by usual residence for basic person counts and dwelling counts.
  • Persons Usually Resident: This is the count of people where they usually live, which may or may not be where they were on Census Night. This data is coded from the address supplied to the question "Where does the person usually live?". For more information about usual residence, see Place of Usual Residence in the Census Dictionary, 2011 (cat. no. 2901.0).
  • Dwellings: A dwelling is a structure which is intended to have people live in it, and which is habitable on Census Night. Some examples of dwellings are houses, motels, flats, caravans, prisons, tents, humpies and houseboats. All occupied dwellings are counted in the Census. Unoccupied private dwellings are also counted with the exception of those in caravan parks, marinas and manufactured home estates. For more information about dwellings, see Dwelling Type in the Census Dictionary, 2011 (cat. no. 2901.0).

The Mesh Block boundaries are available in MapInfo Interchange and ESRI Shapefile formats and can be downloaded from the ‘ABS Geography Publications’ chapter of the ABS Statistical Geography web portal.

A detailed discussion of Mesh Blocks and the criteria used in their design can be found in the online publication: Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat no. 1270.0.55.001),

More information on the ASGS and ABS Statistical Geography can be found by visiting the ABS Statistical Geography web portal.