Suburbs and Localities
Suburbs and Localities, formerly State Suburbs, are an ABS Mesh Block approximation of the officially recognised boundaries of suburbs (in cities and larger towns) and localities (outside cities and larger towns) as defined by the State and Territory governments of Australia. Suburbs and Localities are created to enable the release of ABS data on areas that approximate the official localities. This allows for the comparison of ABS data with other data collected using localities 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 15,353 Suburbs and Localities 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 Suburbs and Localities coding structure section below.
Suburbs and Localities are determined by the Permanent Committee on Place Names (PCPN) under the umbrella of the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ISCM), and are approximated by ABS Mesh Blocks.
Presently there remain areas of rural South Australia and rural Australian Capital Territory that are undefined in the officially defined boundaries. Various islands offshore from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and some inshore water areas and islands are also undefined. The Other Territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Norfolk Island and Jervis Bay are each represented by individual Suburbs and Localities.
SAL design criteria
The ASGS Edition 3 Suburbs and Localities are based on the May 2021 localities data available from Geoscape. There are areas of rural South Australia and rural Australian Capital Territory that are undefined in the officially defined boundaries. Various islands offshore from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and some inshore water areas and islands are also undefined.
Each Mesh Block has been allocated once to an official locality; this is generally based on the largest population contribution. As a result, there are official localities which will not appear in the Suburbs and Localities. This occurs in cases where:
- a Mesh Block covers more than one whole official locality, and the Mesh Block can only be allocated to one locality
- more than one Mesh Block partly covers an official locality, but all the Mesh Blocks are allocated to other localities based on population
All islands defined within the ASGS have been assigned to a Suburb and Locality. Where an island falls outside the officially defined locality, the island is assigned to the nearest mainland Suburb and Locality.
In ASGS Edition 3, the area of South Australia that is not covered by official localities has been assigned to the Suburbs and Localities SA Remainder. Similarly, the area of the ACT that is not currently covered by official localities has been defined as ACT Remainder. ACT Remainder has been further broken down to approximate official ACT District boundaries which are listed below.
ACT Remainder - Belconnen
ACT Remainder - Booth
ACT Remainder - Canberra Central
ACT Remainder - Coree
ACT Remainder - Cotter River
ACT Remainder - Gungahlin
ACT Remainder - Hall
ACT Remainder - Jerrabomberra
ACT Remainder - Kowen
ACT Remainder - Majura
ACT Remainder - Molonglo Valley
ACT Remainder - Paddys River
ACT Remainder - Rendezvous Creek
ACT Remainder - Stromlo
ACT Remainder - Tuggeranong
ACT Remainder - Weston Creek
SAL name criteria
Official locality names are not unique across Australia, or within a State or Territory. Where the same Suburb and Locality name appears in different States or Territories, the State or Territory abbreviation appears in brackets after the name. Where the name is duplicated within a State or Territory, an identifying name based on the Local Government Area name plus the State or Territory abbreviation is used, as shown below. Suburb and Locality names are therefore unique. It should be noted that there is no connection between Suburbs and Localities and Local Government Areas. The Local Government Area name is used only to differentiate between duplicate names within a State or Territory.
Greenmount (Mackay - Qld)
Greenmount (Toowoomba - Qld)
SAL coding structure
Suburbs and Localities are identified by unique five-digit codes consisting of a one-digit state or territory identifier and a four-digit code starting from 0001.
No usual address (NSW)
Migratory - Offshore - Shipping (NSW)
The codes used for ASGS Edition 3 may not match those used in past editions, as codes are assigned alphabetically within each State and Territory, and some Suburb and Locality names have changed since ASGS 2016. 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 Suburbs and Localities.
- 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.
- 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.