Commonwealth Electoral Divisions
Commonwealth Electoral Divisions are an ABS Mesh Block approximation of Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) federal electoral divisions. AEC electoral divisions are areas legally prescribed for the purpose of returning members to the House of Representatives. ABS Commonwealth Electoral Divisions are based on the AEC electoral division boundaries available prior to publication. Commonwealth Electoral Divisions may change as the AEC revise their boundaries. Where this occurs, Commonwealth Electoral Divisions will be updated annually, together with updates to other Non ABS Structures. The 2021 Commonwealth Electoral Divisions remain current at this time. ABS approximations of administrative boundaries do not match official legal boundaries and should only be used for statistical purposes.
There are 170 Commonwealth Electoral Divisions covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. This incorporates 19 non-spatial special purpose codes including a new Outside Australia code. Further information regarding types of special purpose codes can be found in the Commonwealth Electoral Division coding structure section below.
CED design criteria
In ASGS Edition 3, Commonwealth Electoral Divisions are now approximated using Mesh Blocks rather than Statistical Areas Level 1. This allows ABS Commonwealth Electoral Divisions to more closely approximate AEC electoral divisions. Mesh Blocks are allocated to Commonwealth Electoral Divisions based on population. Where a Mesh Block covers two or more Commonwealth Electoral Divisions, the Mesh Block is only allocated to one electorate.
Commonwealth Electoral Divisions cover the whole of geographic Australia. They do not generally cross State and Territory borders but there are three exceptions:
- Norfolk Island is included in the Australia Capital Territory electorate of Bean
- Jervis Bay Territory is included in the Australian Capital Territory electorate of Fenner
- the Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are included in the Northern Territory electorate of Lingiari.
No usual address, Migratory, Offshore and Shipping Mesh Blocks are represented as non-spatial objects in the digital boundaries.
CED name criteria
Commonwealth Electoral Division names are the same as those allocated by the Australian Electoral Commission.
CED coding structure
Commonwealth Electoral Divisions are identified by unique three-digit codes consisting of a one-digit state or territory identifier and a two-digit Commonwealth Electoral Division identifier. Commonwealth Electoral Division identifiers are assigned alphabetically starting from 01 within each state and territory. This coding structure is shown in the table below.
Where significant boundary changes have occurred, the codes used for ASGS Edition 3 may not match those used in past editions. When interpreting change, Commonwealth Electoral Division codes and names should be used together. A geographic correspondence file enabling the translation of data from ASGS Edition 2 (2016) to ASGS Edition 3 is available in the access and downloads section of this publication.
Non-spatial special purpose codes are included as balancing items. Mesh Blocks allocated to these codes are not part of legally designated AEC electoral divisions.
- 94 is reserved for No usual address Mesh Blocks.
- 97 is reserved for Migratory, Offshore and Shipping Mesh Blocks.
- ZZZ is reserved for cases where people are coded to Outside Australia.
Further information can be found in the special purpose codes section of this publication.