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Indigenous Locations

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

Indigenous Locations (ILOCs) are geographic areas built from whole Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s). Indigenous Locations are designed to represent small Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (urban and rural) that are near each other or that share language, traditional borders or Native Title. They usually have a minimum population of about 90 people. In some cases, Indigenous Locations have a smaller Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population to meet statistical requirements or to better represent the local community. Whole Indigenous Locations aggregate to form Indigenous Areas.

There are 1,139 Indigenous Locations covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. This incorporates 19 non-spatial special purpose codes including a new Outside Australia code; more information on these can be found in the special purpose codes section.

The Other Territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island and Norfolk Island are each represented by individual Indigenous Locations. Jervis Bay is represented by two Indigenous Locations covering Jervis Bay (exc. Wreck Bay) and Wreck Bay separately.

ILOC design criteria

Indigenous Locations are designed to allow the production and analysis of statistics relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a high level of spatial accuracy, while also maintaining the confidentiality of individuals. Changes to Indigenous Locations are determined through consultation undertaken by the ABS Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, and incorporate statistical and community requirements wherever possible.

The key aim of Indigenous Location design is to identify and distinguish between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, both in urban and rural settings. Where a community is too small for confidentiality requirements, it is combined with another, related population. Remaining Statistical Areas Level 1 are combined into larger areas, which will include a more dispersed 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. This has resulted in some multi-part Indigenous Locations where related communities are represented as a single Indigenous Location but are geographically separate. This enables the release of Census of Population and Housing data and other data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in a meaningful way, while balancing confidentiality and statistical requirements.  

ILOC name criteria

The key criteria for Indigenous Location names are that they be:

  • meaningful
  • have a maximum of 50 characters
  • unique, that is not shared by any other Indigenous Location in Australia.

Indigenous Locations are named according to the areas they represent.

  • Where an Indigenous Location represents a well-known community it is named after that community, for example 30901102 Wujal Wujal.
  • Where an Indigenous Location represents more than one community it is named with a combination of up to three distinct community names, for example 50800501 Burawa - Darlngunaya - Bungardi.
  • Where an Indigenous Location represents a broader region, excluding a specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community this is reflected in the name, for example 70500502 Katherine exc. Town Camps.

ILOC coding structure

Indigenous Locations are identified by eight-digit hierarchical codes consisting of a one-digit State or Territory identifier, followed by a two-digit Indigenous Region identifier, a three-digit Indigenous Area identifier and finally a two-digit Indigenous Location identifier, as shown below. Within each Indigenous Area, Indigenous Location identifiers are unique. When change occurs, old codes are retired and the next available identifier is assigned.

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Coding structure example for 40101303 Raukkan

S/T

IREG

IARE

ILOC

ILOC Name

4

01

013

03

Raukkan