POSTAL AREAS (POAs)
Postal Areas (POAs) are an ABS approximation of postcodes created to enable the release of ABS data on areas that, as closely as possible, approximate postcodes. This enables the comparison of ABS data with other data collected using postcodes as the geographic reference. Postal Areas are approximated using one or more Mesh Blocks (MBs) from the ASGS. Postal Areas are defined to cover the whole of geographic Australia.
Unlike in 2011 when the Postal Areas were built from Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1), in this edition they have been built from Mesh Blocks, singly or in combination.
A postcode is a four digit number used by Australia Post to assist with mail delivery. Australia Post does not currently define geographic boundaries for postcodes. However, a number of organisations create geographic boundaries that aim to define the geographic extent of the mail delivery area for each postcode. Defining postcodes with a geographic boundary is an imprecise process, and this is demonstrated by the fact that there are variations in boundaries released by different organisations. Additionally postcodes cover most, but not all, of Australia; for example, western Tasmania is not covered by a postcode.
In developing Postal Areas, each Mesh Block is allocated to a single Australia Post postcode. Postal Areas derived in this way only approximate postcode boundaries. Mesh Block allocations are based on the distribution of the estimated population within each Mesh Block, not on the total area. These allocations have been determined using the best available information on postcode boundaries.
Some Australia Post postcodes are not included in the Postal Area classification. This occurs when no Mesh Block can be allocated to a particular postcode. There are two situations when this occurs where:
- a Mesh Block covers more than one whole postcode, the Mesh Block can be allocated to only one postcode
- more than one Mesh Block partially covers a postcode, but all the Mesh Blocks are allocated to other postcodes, based on the share of population with which they also share area.
Postal Areas exclude Australia Post postcodes that are not street delivery areas. These include post office boxes, mail back competitions, large volume receivers and specialist delivery postcodes. These postcodes are only valid for postal addresses and are not a valid location for population data.
It should be noted that there are instances where postcodes cross state or territory boundaries. In these cases Postal Areas reflect this distribution. The following table lists these Postal Areas.
|Postal Area Code||State or Territory|
|0872||Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia |
|2540||New South Wales, Other Territories |
|2611||New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory |
|2620 ||New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory |
|2618||New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory |
|2406 ||New South Wales, Queensland |
|3707||Victoria, New South Wales|
|3691||Victoria, New South Wales|
|3644||Victoria, New South Wales|
|4375||Queensland, New South Wales|
|4377||Queensland, New South Wales|
|4380||Queensland, New South Wales|
|4383||Queensland, New South Wales |
|4385||Queensland, New South Wales|
|4825||Queensland, Northern Territory |
For the 2016 ASGS,
2670 Postal Areas have been defined. No Usual Address and Migratory-Offshore-Shipping are represented as non-spatial objects in the digital boundaries.
The codes used for the 2016 Postal Areas may not match those used in 2011 in some instances. Changes to codes occur where Australia Post abolishes postcodes or changes codes between
editions of the ASGS. Correspondences enabling translation of data from 2011 to 2016 to qualify these changes will be released with this volume.
POSTAL AREA NAMES
Postal Areas are not allocated names since there is no standardised name available for Australia Post postcodes. In most cases the code is repeated in the name field except where State or Territory (S/T) boundaries are crossed when a description is added.
POSTAL AREA CODING STRUCTURE
Each Postal Area code is the same as the corresponding four digit Australia Post postcode.
Special purpose codes are included as balancing items. Mesh Blocks allocated to these codes are not part of any official Postal Area.
- POA code 9797 is reserved for cases where people are coded to Migratory, Off-Shore and Shipping Mesh Blocks.
- POA code 9494 is reserved for cases where people are coded to No Usual Address Mesh Blocks.
|POA Code||POA Name|
|2614 ||2614 |
|2615 ||2615 |
|2617 ||2617 |
|2618 ||2618 crosses New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory |
|2619 ||2619 |
|9494 ||No usual address (Aust.) |
|9797 ||Migratory - Offshore - Shipping (Aust.) |