The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Structure defines 5 classes of relative geographic remoteness across Australia. These 5 classes are:
- Major Cities of Australia
- Inner Regional Australia
- Outer Regional Australia
- Remote Australia
- Very Remote Australia
Relative geographic remoteness is measured in an objective way using the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia Plus (ARIA+).
ARIA+ is derived by measuring road distance from various populated locations to five categories of service centre, using population as a proxy measure for service availability. ARIA+ uses ASGS Edition 3 Urban Centres and Localities and 2021 Census of Population and Housing data to reflect different levels of service availability based on five defined population ranges. For more information on how ARIA+ is created, please refer to the University of Adelaide website.
The University of Adelaide supplies ARIA+ to the ABS as a one kilometre grid which covers all of geographic Australia. Each grid cell contains an ARIA+ score representing its relative geographic remoteness. This is used by the ABS to calculate the average ARIA+ grid values for each Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) to apply the correct remoteness class for the resulting value. The Remoteness Area classes and their associated ARIA+ ranges are shown in the table below.
Remoteness Areas aggregate to States or Territories and cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.