Latest release

Indigenous Structure

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 3
Reference period
July 2021 - June 2026

The Indigenous Structure is a geographical standard for the publication and analysis of statistics about the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.

The ABS is committed to improving the quality and comprehensiveness of data available about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. This update to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific geography enhances the interpretability of information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly at lower levels of the geography structure.

The structure has 3 hierarchical levels listed below from smallest to largest:

  • Indigenous Locations (ILOCs) represent small Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (urban and rural) with a minimum population of about 90 people.
  • Indigenous Areas (IAREs) are medium sized geographical areas designed to facilitate the release of more detailed statistics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Indigenous Regions (IREGs) are large geographical areas based on historical boundaries. The larger population of Indigenous Regions enables highly detailed analysis.

Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s) aggregate to Indigenous Locations which aggregate to Indigenous Areas, and they in turn aggregate to Indigenous Regions. At each hierarchical level, all of Geographic Australia is covered without gaps or overlaps.

The boundaries in the Indigenous Structure are built from whole SA1s. SA1s are designed with reference to language groups, information from people with local knowledge of certain communities, and transport networks to identify both remote and non-remote discrete communities and urban areas with a high usual resident Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. In some cases, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that are too small to be identified separately have been combined with other nearby and associated communities.

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Summary of Indigenous Structure units

Region

NSW

Vic.

Qld

SA

WA

Tas.

NT

ACT

OT(a)

Aust.

Total(b)

IREG

9

4

10

5

10

3

9

3

5

58

59

IARE

109

41

87

34

71

13

64

5

6

430

431

ILOC

294

91

206

89

218

36

189

8

7

1,138

1,139

(a) Other Territories (OT) includes the territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Jervis Bay and Norfolk Island.

(b) Includes one new record for the Outside Australia special purpose code. Migratory - Offshore - Shipping and No usual address special purpose codes are included in State and Territory counts.

For information on how the Indigenous Structure relates to the whole ASGS, refer to the ASGS diagram.