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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This publication is the first volume of a series detailing the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). It deals with the ASGS Main Structure (Statistical Area Levels 1 - 4) and the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas.

The ASGS brings all the regions for which the ABS publishes statistics within the one framework and will be used by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics from 1 July 2011. It is the framework for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of statistics published by the ABS. The ABS also encourages the use of the ASGS by other organisations to improve the comparability and usefulness of statistics generally.

While there are superficial similarities between the ASGS and the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), it is important to recognise that the two are fundamentally different and there are significant differences between their respective regions, both in their geographical extent and their conceptual foundation. As a whole, the ASGS represents a more comprehensive, flexible and consistent way of defining Australia's statistical geography than the ASGC. For further information to assist you to move from the ASGC to the ASGS please refer to the ABS website at https://www.abs.gov.au/geography.

The ASGS will be progressively introduced through the various ABS collections. It will replace the ASGC as the main geographical framework for the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, although data on Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and those regions aggregated from SLAs will still be available for 2011. All ABS collections should be reporting on ASGS units by 2013.

Future volumes will detail the: Indigenous Structure, Non-ABS Geographies (including Local Government Areas), Urban Centres and Localities/Section of State and Remoteness Areas. The digital boundaries, maps, codes and labels for the regions described in this volume are available free of charge from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website at https://www.abs.gov.au/geography.

Any enquires regarding the ASGS, or suggestions for its improvement can be made by emailing geography@abs.gov.au.

Brian Pink

Australian Statistician



The purpose of this publication is to outline the conceptual basis of the ASGS Main Structure and the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs) and their relationships to each other. The digital boundaries, maps, codes and labels for each of these regions are defined and can be obtained from the ABS website free of charge at https://www.abs.gov.au/geography.

This publication is the first in a series of volumes that will detail the various structures and regions of the ASGS. For more detail, please refer to ASGS Related Material and Release Timetable.


The main purpose of the ASGS is for disseminating geographically classified statistics. It provides a common framework of statistical geography which enables the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated.

When the ASGS is fully implemented within the ABS, statistical units such as households and businesses will be assigned to a Mesh Block. Data collected from these statistical units will then be compiled into ASGS defined geographic regions which, subject to confidentiality restrictions, will be available for publication.