2911.0.55.002 - Discussion Paper: Census of Population and Housing - ABS Views on 2011 Census Output Geography, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/03/2010  Final
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is to replace the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) commencing in 2011. The Census of Population and Housing is a key source of high quality statistical data for small geographic areas. The move to the new classification will lead to improvements in the quality of small area time series data from the Census and will enable better comparison between Census and other data sources that adopt the new geographic classification.

The purpose of this paper is to:

  • inform census users of the geographical areas for which data from the 2011 Census will be available, and
  • seek user views on the range of products that will be available for the various levels of the ASGS (refer to Tables 1 and 2 of this publication).
Statistics from the 2011 Census will be released using the ASGS. For 2011, time series data will be available at the Statistical Local Area (SLA).

The smallest geographical unit of the ASGS for which full 2011 Census statistics will be published will be the Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1). The SA1 will be composed of aggregates of Mesh Blocks (MB) and will be of slightly smaller average size than a 2006 Collection District (CD). SA1s will aggregate to form the higher level units in the main structure of the ASGS.

Data for Mesh Blocks will be published with Usual Resident population and total dwelling counts, as they were for the 2006 Census. Statistics based on user defined aggregations of Mesh Blocks will not be available.

The ASGS, with improved geographical resolution, will provide statistics of comparable or better quality for most non-ABS geographies that were previously derived from whole CDs. These will include Local Government Areas (LGAs), suburbs, postal areas and Commonwealth and State electoral divisions. The ASGS will also offer users a more stable and consistent output geography that is based on land use and population ranges to optimise output. Whereas the old CD-based geography was designed for ease of collection of census forms.