3106.0 - Demography News, May 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/05/2011   
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The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

From July 2011 the ABS will be 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 areas than the ASGC and will become the essential reference for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of ABS statistics. The current ASGC regions such as the Census Collection Districts (CCDs), Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and Statistical Divisions (SDs) will disappear to be replaced by the new Statistical Areas Levels 1 to 4 (SA1 - SA4). For more information about the ASGS, including boundary maps, labels and codes for the SA units and Capital Cities, see Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Now Available - Australian Statistical Geography Standard Main Structure

On 23 December 2010, ABS published Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

The electronic outputs associated with this release include correspondences in .csv format for the SA1, SA2, SA3 and SA4 levels of the classification as well as the new Greater Capital City Statistical Areas structure. In addition, the release includes maps in pdf format, and digital boundaries in ESRI shapefile and Mapinfo formats. While no actual ABS data is currently available on ASGS, these correspondences will be useful for organisations planning to move their data over to the new classification. From July 2011, the ABS will progressively replace the current Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new ASGS.

For information about the ABS plans to move to the new geography, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions on the new ABS Geography Portal.

Please note the web address: https://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3310114.nsf/home/geography

Population Estimates Under the ASGS

From 2011 onwards, the SA2 will be the base spatial unit used to prepare and disseminate sub-state population estimates.

The first set of population estimates under the ASGS (as at 30 June 2011) will be released in July/August 2012 in Regional Population Growth, Australia (cat. no. 3218.0). This release will also contain estimates based on the old geography. However, 30 June 2011 estimates will be the last time SLA based data will be prepared and released. Sub-state population estimates from 30 June 2012 and onwards will only be prepared and released based on the ASGS (SA2, SA3, SA4 and Capital Cities).

As LGA population estimates are regarded as a crucial ABS output, they will continue to be prepared post 2011. The boundaries on which these estimates will be prepared on will be updated each year, in line with official gazetted boundaries.

SA2 population estimates will be broken down into SA1s, which can then be aggregated to form non-ABS structures (Postal Areas, State Suburbs, State Electoral Divisions, Remoteness Areas etc) which make up part of the ASGS.

Sub-state population estimates by age and sex will also continue to be prepared and released under the new geography. Estimates will be prepared at the SA2 level by single year of age and sex, but will be released on the web site in five-year age groups, in Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia (cat. no. 3235.0).

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. How long this time series is depends on the geographic level or the type of estimate. For larger areas (e.g. Capital Cities) the ABS is aiming to prepare longer time series. Time series will be released as part of the first releases of ASGS population estimates in July/August 2012.