1270.0.55.001 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/12/2010  First Issue
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Contents >> Main Structure >> MESH BLOCKS


Mesh Blocks are the smallest geographic region in the ASGS and form the basis for the larger regions of the ASGS. There are approximately 347,000 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 the building blocks for all the larger regions of the ASGS. As Mesh Blocks are very small they can be combined together to accurately approximate a large range of other statistical regions.


The Mesh Blocks were delimited using a number of criteria. The design reflects a balance between the respective considerations.

The criteria for designing Mesh Blocks were published in Information Paper: Mesh Blocks Australia 2003, ABS (cat. no. 1209.0). The criteria were further refined in response to feedback on that information paper, see Information Paper: Draft Mesh Blocks, Australia 2005, ABS (cat. no. 1209.0.55.001).

Listed below are the criteria in the approximate order of importance.


Mesh Blocks align to 2011 SLA boundaries.


The minimum dwelling count of Mesh Blocks has been designed to be small enough to aggregate accurately to a wide range of spatial units, to enable a ready comparison of statistics between geographical regions, and large enough to protect against accidental disclosure of confidential information. The majority of populated Mesh Blocks contain between 30 and 60 dwellings.

Urban and Rural

Mesh Blocks are designed to be either urban or rural in nature. The primary purpose of this urban/rural split is to distinguish clustered population from dispersed population.

Land Use

Mesh Blocks reflect land use boundaries. For example, residential areas are separated from commercial or agricultural areas. Mesh Blocks are therefore broadly categorised by land use. The land use categories are:

  • water
  • parkland
  • residential
  • industrial
  • commercial
  • education
  • hospital/medical
  • agricultural
  • transport
  • other.

The Mesh Block category is not designed to provide a definitive land use mapping. It is purely an indicator of the main planned land use for a Mesh Block.


Where practical, Mesh Block boundaries do not cross cadastral boundaries. Essentially Mesh Blocks are designed to be an aggregation of land parcels.

Gazetted Suburbs and Localities

Where possible, Mesh Blocks are designed to contain or aggregate to whole suburbs or rural localities.


Mesh Block boundaries reflect topographic features as these have the potential to define communities.

The topographic features used for Mesh Block design include:
  • water, rivers and lakes
  • transportation, roads and rail
  • open space, parkland, nature reserves and forest
  • major mountain ranges or escarpments.


Where practical, Mesh Blocks are designed to be compact in size and shape.


The 11-digit Mesh Block code comprises: S/T identifier (1 digit), Mesh Block identifier (10 digits).




6 0106840000

Mesh Block Identifier Ranges

Within each S/T, the Mesh Block identifier is in the range 0000000000 to 9999999999.

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