1259.0.30.001 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Digital Boundaries, Australia, July 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2011  Final
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The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is a hierarchical classification system of geographical areas and consists of a number of interrelated structures. It provides a common framework of statistical geography and enables the production of statistics which are comparable and can be spatially integrated.

This is the final edition of the ASGC. From 2011 onwards the ABS will be using the new statistical geography called the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

This product, Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Digital Boundaries, Australia 2011 (cat. no. 1259.0.30.001), contains the digital boundaries and .csv hierarchy files current for the ASGC Edition 2011 (date of effect 1 July 2011). The digital boundaries are presented in MapInfo Interchange Format (.mid/.mif) and ESRI Shapefile (.shp) Format, and are based on the datum GDA94.

The ASGC covers Geographic Australia including the external territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Christmas Island, but excluding all other external territories.

The product includes boundaries of Local Government Areas, Statistical Local Areas, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Subdivisions, States, Statistical Districts, Major Statistical Regions, Statistical Regions and Statistical Region Sectors, current at 1 July 2011. The digital boundaries are available only at one level of detail. These boundaries are intended for import and display in GIS and desktop mapping packages and, because of the high level of detail, they are not suitable for use in 'low-end' mapping packages such as those included in Excel.

Note that it is vitally important to understand which edition of the ASGC has been applied to the statistical data which you are analysing.

Operating Environment

The digital boundary files are in MapInfo Interchange Format (.mid/.mif) and ESRI Shapefile (.shp) format. MapInfo Interchange Format can be imported directly into MapInfo and other common Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or desktop mapping packages. The .mid/.mif files are text format and can be edited and manipulated for import to less common GIS and CAD systems.

The .mid/.mif files cannot be used directly with viewing tools such as MapInfo ProViewer.

The digital boundary files have the datum specified as 116 (GDA94). Users of MapInfo 6.0 or later are able to load data sets based on GDA94 directly, without transformation. Earlier versions of MapInfo cannot interpret GDA94 correctly and there may be alignment problems between data sets based on this datum and other earlier datums.

File Nomenclature

Each file name has the format <file type><11><a><AUST> where:
<file type> represents the type of boundaries in each file
SLA = Statistical Local Area
SSD = Statistical Subdivision
SD = Statistical Division
STE = State
SDIST = Statistical District
LGA = Local Government Area
SRS = Statistical Region Sector
SR = Statistical Region
MSR = Major Statistical Region

<11> represents 2011 the year of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Edition

<a> indicates the data is at a high level of detail i.e. "all points" data

<AUST> indicates the data covers all of Australia as defined in ABS publication Catalogue Number 1216.0

Within the files, the States/Territories (S/T) are identified by unique one digit codes.

Code S/T

1 New South Wales
2 Victoria
3 Queensland
4 South Australia
5 Western Australia
6 Tasmania
7 Northern Territory
8 Australian Capital Territory
9 Other Territories

File Attributes

All column headers show spatial unit type, spatial unit attribute and year of edition.

File Type Fields (.mid/.mif)Fields (ESRI shp)Data Type

SLA STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
SLA_MAINCODE_2011 Sla_code11Character (9)
SLA_NAME_2011 Sla_name11Character (50)
SLA_5DIGITCODE_2011 Sla_5digitCharacter (5)
SLA_REGIONCODE_2011 Sla_reg11Character (9)
SSD STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
SSD_CODE_2011 Ssd_code11Character (5)
SSD_NAME_2011 Ssd_name11Character (50)
SD STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
SD_CODE_2011 Sd_code11Character (3)
SD_NAME_2011 Sd_name11Character (50)
STE STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
STATE_NAME_2011 State_nameCharacter (50)
LGA STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
LGA_CODE_2011 Lga_code11Character (5)
LGA_NAME_2011 Lga_name11Character (50)
SDIST SDIST_CODE_2011 Sdist_codeCharacter (4)
SDIST_NAME_2011 Sdist_nameCharacter (50)
SRS STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
SRS_CODE_2011 Srs_code11Character (5)
SRS_NAME_2011 Srs_name11Character (50)
SR STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
SR_CODE_2011 Sr_code11Character (4)
SR_NAME_2011 Sr_name11Character (30)
MSR STATE_CODE_2011 State_codeCharacter (1)
MSR_CODE_2011 Msr_code11Character (2)
MSR_NAME_2011 Msr_name11Character (50)

Data Quality

The ASGC Edition 2011 digital boundaries are all based upon the SLA boundaries of the ASGC Edition 2011. This year to assist in the change over to the ASGS, SLAs were aggregated up from the 2011 Mesh Blocks (MBs). This was done to ensure that both the ASGC and the ASGS had the same building block to assist with comparability between the two classifications.

The differences between the MB based LGAs and the actual boundaries is minimal and not statistically significant.

While the topological consistency of the data can be regarded as high there may be very small errors such as gaps, overlaps and bow-ties.


Refer to the Explanatory Notes for the Metadata Proforma in this product.


Information regarding the underlying concepts of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification and its Structures may be found in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2011 (cat. no. 1216.0). A publication is produced for each edition of the ASGC and the publication for the ASGC Edition 2011 will be available from 16 September 2011.

For information regarding the new statistical geography and to obtain the digital boundaries for the Mesh Blocks, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) may be found in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat no. 1270.0.55.001)

Copyright Commonwealth of Australia administered by the ABS.

For more information on statistical geography please view the ABS Geography portal.

For enquiries please email geography@abs.gov.au