1269.0 - Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/08/2011   
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The full range of valid codes should be used in all specifications, including in verifying input codes, manipulating data, aggregating data to higher level categories and deriving output items and tables.

For applications using the classification structure, the valid range of codes comprises all the codes:
  • in the classification structure, and
  • in the list: 'Supplementary Codes for the Classification Structure'.

These supplementary codes are detailed in the data cube from the 'Downloads tab'.

Supplementary codes in the list Supplementary Codes for Former Countries and Other Geographic Entities, do not fall in the valid code range for any of the categories of the standard classification, but can be used to preserve data that would otherwise be lost. When deriving output items for the classification structure, data coded to these supplementary codes are included in the data for, '0000: Inadequately Described'.


Data should be captured and stored at the most detailed level of the classification possible. This allows the greatest flexibility for the output of statistics. It enables more detailed and complex analysis, facilitates comparisons with previous data using different classifications and preserves information so as to provide maximum flexibility for future use of the data.

However, because of collection and confidentiality constraints, it may not always be possible to collect, store or output data at the lower levels of the classification. The use of a standard classification framework will nevertheless enhance data comparability even though it may not always be possible to disseminate data at the most detailed level.

The hierarchical structure of the classification allows users the flexibility to output statistics at the level of the classification which best suits their needs. Data can be presented at major group, minor group or country level. If necessary, significant countries within a minor group can be presented separately while the remaining countries within the minor group are aggregated. The same principle can be used to highlight significant minor groups within a major group.

Countries from different minor groups should not be added together to form an aggregation not included in the classification framework structure as this corrupts the application of the classification criteria and has repercussions for data comparability. Similarly, minor groups from different major groups should not be added together. In instances where some countries within a minor group are presented separately while the remaining countries within the minor group are aggregated, the group of aggregated countries should be labelled 'Other', or 'Other (minor group name)'.

For example using Minor Group 24 Northern Europe:

Other Northern Europe

    An exception to the above argument to present data in a standard fashion using the structure or the alternative standard country groupings is made in a number of cases to allow the continuation of time series and to enhance the usefulness of the classification in certain areas.

    The following groupings of countries are provided as standard coding options.

    In some circumstances there will be a need to present statistics for Europe as a whole rather than for the individual major groups; North-West Europe, and Southern and Eastern Europe.

    Europe and the former USSR
    This entity was a major group in the previous country classification and is provided for time series purposes.

    Former USSR
    This entity was a minor group in the previous country classification and is provided for time series purposes.

    East Asia
    The terms 'Asia' or 'Asian' are sometimes used to refer to the countries of North-East Asia and South-East Asia only. This grouping of culturally 'Asian' countries comprising an aggregation of the SACC major groups; 'North-East Asia' and 'South-East Asia' is more appropriately referred to as 'East Asia'.

    Users may wish to disseminate statistics under the broad heading 'Asia', or to refer to 'Asia' or use the adjective 'Asian' in thematic discussion, reports, etc. For general statistical purposes it is inappropriate to aggregate the minor group; '42 Middle East' with the minor groups; '71 Southern Asia' and '72 Central Asia' or with the major groups; '5 South-East Asia' and '6 North-East Asia' (also commonly described as East Asia in combined output), as the countries from these regions are dissimilar in terms of their cultural, social and economic characteristics.


    The country names used in the classification generally correspond to the short form country names used by the United Nations. In a few instances the country name is accompanied by extra information to precisely define the unit it represents, for example, 'China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)'.

    Some of the names of the countries and groupings used in the classification are too long for use in all circumstances, for example, in table stubs. In these cases a list of names for countries and the SACC groupings is provided using both 15-character and 30-character labels.

    Short country names are detailed in the data cube from the 'Downloads tab'.