State Electoral Divisions
State Electoral Divisions are an ABS Mesh Block approximation of state electoral districts as defined by state and territory electoral commissions. A state electoral district is an area legally prescribed for the purpose of returning one or more members to the state or territory lower houses of parliament, or the relevant equivalent. State Electoral Divisions are based on the most up to date state electoral districts available prior to publication. State Electoral Divisions may change as State or Territory authorities revise their boundaries. When this occurs, State Electoral Divisions will be updated annually together with updates of other Non ABS Structures. ABS approximations of administrative boundaries do not match official legal boundaries, and should only be used for statistical purposes. Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania have extra boundaries that represent their upper house state electoral districts, and these are represented in the State Electoral Division names and coding structure.
There are 452 State 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 State Electoral Division coding structure section below.
SED design criteria
In ASGS Edition 3, State Electoral Divisions are now approximated using Mesh Blocks rather than Statistical Areas Level 1. This allows ABS State Electoral Divisions to more closely approximate legally prescribed state electoral district boundaries. Mesh Blocks are allocated to State Electoral Divisions based on the largest population contribution. Where a Mesh Block covers two or more State Electoral Divisions, the Mesh Block can only be allocated to one electorate; as a result, some State Electoral Divisions have multiple parts.
The Other Territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and Jervis Bay are allocated to Unclassified (OT).
No usual address, Migratory, Offshore and Shipping special purpose Mesh Blocks are represented as non-spatial objects in the digital boundaries.
SED name criteria
State Electoral Division names are the same as those allocated by the electoral commission of each State and Territory. Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania have extra boundaries that represent their upper house state electoral districts. For these states, the allocated upper house boundary is listed after the lower house electoral district name, for example, Broadmeadows (Northern Metropolitan).
SED coding structure
State Electoral Divisions are identified by unique five-digit codes consisting of a one-digit state or territory identifier and a four-digit State Electoral Division identifier. State Electoral Division identifiers are unique within each state and territory and are assigned alphabetically by name. They are allocated differently to reflect varying electoral arrangements between states and territories.
New South Wales and South Australia both have two houses of parliament, but their upper houses are single constituencies, not represented by sub-state level boundaries. Queensland, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory all have only one house of parliament. For these five states and territories, State Electoral Division identifiers are allocated alphabetically from 0001 as shown in the table below.
Victoria and Western Australia have two houses of parliament and their upper house regions are created by amalgamating lower house state electoral districts. In these states the first two digits of the State Electoral Division identifiers are allocated alphabetically from 01 to the lower house regions, while the final two digits are allocated alphabetically from 01 to the upper house regions, as shown in the table below.
Lower house identifier
Upper house identifier
Bundoora (Northern Metropolitan)
Vasse (South West)
Tasmania also has two houses of parliament with defined upper house regions, but they are not created by amalgamating lower house state electoral districts. Tasmanian State Electoral Division identifiers are allocated in the same way as Victoria and Western Australia. However, as upper house regions do not aggregate from the lower house regions there is more than one code covering a lower house region, as shown in the table below.
Lower house identifier
Upper house identifier
Where significant boundary changes have occurred, the codes used for ASGS Edition 3 may not match those used in past editions. When interpreting change, State Electoral Division codes and names should be used together. 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.
Non-spatial special purpose codes are included as balancing items. Mesh Blocks allocated to these codes are not part of legally designated state electoral districts.
- 9494 is reserved for No usual address Mesh Blocks.
- 9797 is reserved for Migratory, Offshore and Shipping Mesh Blocks.
- ZZZZZ 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.