1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/09/1999   
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The Section of State (SOS) Structure is the final classification structure in the ASGC (see diagram 3, chapter 1). Like the UC/L Structure (chapter 6), the SOS Structure uses population counts from the latest Census of Population and Housing to define CDs between urban and rural. Unlike the UC/L Structure, the SOS Structure relates to all CDs and therefore, in aggregate, the SOS Structure covers all of Australia (as defined in chapter 1). There are five different SOS in this classification, with each SOS made up of geographical areas of a particular type within the S/T.

The SOS Structure is used for the production of standard statistical outputs from Population Censuses such as Selected Social and Housing Characteristics for Urban Centres and Localities (Cat. nos 2016.0–.7) and CDATA96 (Cat. Nos 2019.0.30.001–.8.30.001). It is also used to classify data collected from the labour force surveys.

The SOS Structure is maintained as a separate structure in the ASGC because SOS spatial units do not align with spatial units from any of the other structures.

The structure

The SOS Structure is defined only in census years. It contains three hierarchical levels, comprising in ascending hierarchical order: CDs–SOS–S/Ts.

In this structure, CDs aggregate to SOS and SOS aggregate to S/Ts without gaps or overlaps. Consequently, the structure covers all of Australia.


The Sections of State determined following the 1996 Census are listed in the publication Statistical Geography: Volume 1—Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (Cat. no. 1216.0). This listing provides:

      • Section of State Structure: States/Territories, Sections of State (showing only the top two hierarchical levels: S/T–SOS)

New South Wales
Major Urban
Other Urban
Bounded Locality
Rural Balance

Listings of component CDs of SOS, for census year 1996, are available from the ABS as a Customised Geographic Data Report.

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