3219.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Population Estimates under Australia's New Statistical Geography, August 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/08/2011  First Issue
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From July 2011 the ABS is replacing the nation's official statistical geography, the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The ASGS will define more stable, consistent and meaningful units than the ASGC and will become the essential reference for understanding and interpreting the geographical dimension of ABS statistics. For more information about the ASGS, including maps, labels and codes, see Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Sub-state population estimates are prepared and released annually, as at 30 June each year. The first set of population estimates under the ASGS will be prepared for 30 June 2011 and released in late July 2012 in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2001-2011 (cat. no. 3218.0). This release will contain estimates based on the new geography as well as estimates based on the old geography. Sub-state population estimates for 30 June 2012 and onwards will only be prepared and released based on the ASGS.

Local Government Area (LGA) is one of the non-ABS geographies included in the ASGS. As LGA population estimates are regarded as an important ABS output, they will continue to be prepared post 2011. The boundaries on which these estimates will be prepared will be updated each year, in line with official gazetted boundaries.

The change in geographic classification means there will be an unavoidable break in time series. To assist users with this break in time series, the ABS plans to prepare historical population estimates under the new geography. The length of the time series depends on the geographic level and the type of estimate. For larger areas (e.g. capital cities) the ABS will prepare a longer time series. Time series will be released as part of the first releases of ASGS population estimates in mid 2012.

The purpose of this paper is to:

  • provide a broad overview of the ASGS;
  • inform users of the availability of population estimates under the new geography;
  • inform users of the historical estimates that will be prepared;
  • provide key dates for the release of these estimates under the ASGS; and
  • outline the methodology that will be used to prepare population estimates under the ASGS.

Information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Estimated Resident Population (ERP) under the ASGS is not included in this paper. Details about the availability and release of these estimates will be available in Information Paper: Rebasing Population Estimates, Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 3101.0.55.001), scheduled for release in September 2011.


For further information relating to the preparation of population estimates under the ASGS or the release of these estimates, please contact:

Tricia Dyson
Regional Population Unit
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Phone: (08) 8237 7662
Email: regional.population@abs.gov.au