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Postal Areas

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

Postal Areas are an ABS Mesh Block approximation of a general definition of postcodes. They enable comparison of ABS data with other data collected using postcodes as the geographic reference. ABS approximations of administrative boundaries do not match official legal boundaries and should only be used for statistical purposes.

There are 2,644 Postal Areas covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. This incorporates 3 non-spatial special purpose codes including a new Outside Australia code. Further information on special purpose codes can be found in the Postal Area coding structure section below.

The Other Territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island and Norfolk Island are each represented by individual Postal Areas and Jervis Bay is included in NSW.

POA design criteria

Mesh Blocks are allocated to Postal Areas based on the largest population contribution. Where a Mesh Block covers two or more postcodes, the Mesh Block can only be allocated to one Postal Area. These allocations have been determined using the best available information on postcode boundaries.

Some official postcodes are not included in Postal Areas. This occurs when a Mesh Block cannot be allocated to a postcode. There are two situations where this occurs:

  • a Mesh Block covers more than one whole postcode, and the Mesh Block can be allocated to only one postcode
  • more than one Mesh Block partly covers a postcode, but all the Mesh Blocks are allocated to other postcodes, based on population.

Postal Areas exclude postcodes that are not street delivery areas. These include post office boxes, mail back competitions, large volume receivers and specialist delivery postcodes. These postcodes are only valid for postal addresses and are not a valid location for population data.

There are instances where postcodes cross state or territory boundaries. In these cases, Postal Area reflect this. The following table lists these Postal Areas.

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POA code

States/Territories

0872

Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia

2540

New South Wales, Other Territories

2611

New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory

2620

New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory

2618

New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory

2406

New South Wales, Queensland

3707

Victoria, New South Wales

3691

Victoria, New South Wales

3644

Victoria, New South Wales

4375

Queensland, New South Wales

4377

Queensland, New South Wales

4380

Queensland, New South Wales

4383

Queensland, New South Wales

4385

Queensland, New South Wales

4825

Queensland, Northern Territory

POA name criteria

Postal Areas are not allocated names as there is no standardised name available. As a result, the Postal Area code is repeated in the name field.

POA coding structure

Each Postal Area code is the same as the corresponding four-digit official postcode, as shown in the examples below.

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POA code

POA name

2614

2614

2615

2615

2617

2617

2618

2618

2619

2619

9494

No usual address (Aust.)

9797

Migratory - Offshore - Shipping (Aust.)

ZZZZOutside Australia

The codes used for ASGS Edition 3 Postal Areas may not match those used in past editions. This is because postcodes can be abolished, postcode boundaries adjusted, or new postcodes created between editions of the ASGS. A geographic correspondence file enabling the translation of data from ASGS 2016 to ASGS Edition 3 is available in the access and downloads section of this publication.

Special purpose codes are included as balancing items. Mesh Blocks allocated to these codes are not part of any official Postal Area.

  • 9797 is reserved for cases where people are coded to Migratory, Offshore and Shipping Mesh Blocks.
  • 9494 is reserved for cases where people are coded to No usual address Mesh Blocks.
  • ZZZZ 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.