Using statistical geography
Accessing digital boundaries
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) digital boundaries can be downloaded from the Digital boundary files section of the publication. As more boundaries for Edition 3 become available, they will be added to this section.
ASGS digital boundaries are available in either the OGC GeoPackage, or ESRI shapefile formats.
Digital boundaries can be viewed and compared using our online mapping tool ABS Maps.
ASGS geospatial data services, or web services, and APIs allow access to the most up to date ASGS digital boundaries and data without needing to store them. Data services are available for all ASGS boundaries as they are published. Some common uses for data services are mobile apps, custom geospatial web applications and infrastructure, online mapping applications (for example ArcGIS Online) and desktop mapping applications.
To access the available ASGS geospatial data services and find more information about these products, please refer to the Data services and APIs section of the ASGS Edition 3 publication. These boundaries are also available in a Web Linked Dataset.
To find digital boundaries from past editions of the ASGS, refer to the downloads tab of the relevant publications, available on the ABS Geography Publications page.
For ASGS Edition 3 (2021), digital boundaries are available in both the Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020) and the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA94). GDA2020 was adopted as the new official national datum in 2017 and will be adopted gradually by organisations across Australia. The difference between GDA94 and GDA2020 on the ground is currently about 1.8 metres. Eventually, the ABS will phase out GDA94 boundaries.
ASGS 2016 and 2011 digital boundaries are published using GDA94 only.
Most GIS software automatically converts boundaries from GDA94 to GDA2020 and vice versa. The ABS uses a 7 point method for converting GDA94 boundaries to GDA2020. For more information about GDA2020, please refer to the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping or Geoscience Australia.
Converting data to the ASGS
The ASGS allows users to analyse and visualise statistics based on location. All ABS data and statistics below the state and territory level are published with an ASGS code indicating location. The ASGS code makes it easy to find where ABS data is related to, and if you know the name or the ASGS code for the location you are interested in there are a number of ways to access ABS data for that location. This includes through publication, tables, maps and APIs.
You may also be interested in bringing in data from other sources to view alongside ABS data, or in using ABS data in your analysis of other geographic boundaries. Information on converting data to the ASGS is now included in the ASGS Edition 3 publication.
The ABS makes available an extensive range of correspondence files, including in machine readable format, to help users to mathematically convert statistical data to and from geographic regions. As most ABS data relates to population, standard correspondences have a weighting calculated on the location of the population and uses population data modelled to residential address locations. For more information, refer to the ASGS Edition 3 publication.