Latest release

Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas

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

The Main Structure of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is developed by the ABS and is used to release and analyse a broad range of social, demographic and economic statistics. It is also widely used by other organisations. The structure is broadly based on the concept of a functional area. A functional area is an area within which many people commute or travel to access services.

The structure has seven hierarchical levels listed below in descending order:

  • Australia (AUS)
  • States and Territories (S/T)
  • Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4s)
  • Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s)
  • Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s)
  • Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s)
  • Mesh Blocks (MBs)

Each level directly aggregates to the level above. For example, SA1s are aggregates of Mesh Blocks and they in turn aggregate to SA2s. This principle continues up through the remaining levels of the hierarchy. At each hierarchical level, all of Geographic Australia is covered without gaps or overlaps.

Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSAs), while not a part of the Main Structure hierarchy, are geographic regions that are also designed to represent functional areas.

For ASGS Edition 3, the number of records within each region type by State and Territory and Australia wide, is shown in Table 3.

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Table 3 - number of records by region
RegionNSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTOTAust.Total*
S/T111111111910
GCCSA4444444333435
SA43019219126433107108
SA394688430361711126358359
SA26445245481762671017013662,4722,473
SA119,75015,48212,5494,3296,3521,4826491,2292261,84461,845
MB112,73888,73971,86228,43143,32213,0343,3616,662136368,285368,286

*Total varies from the Australia count by one as it includes a new special purpose code for Outside Australia.

For information on how the Main Structure and GCCSAs relate to the whole ASGS, refer to the ASGS diagram.