Australian Bureau of Statistics
4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013
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Note there are limits to the extent to which survey data can be compiled for detailed geographies, particularly those with smaller populations such as Medicare Locals. The ability of the survey to provide reliable estimates for these areas is dependent upon factors such as the number of persons sampled within a particular area and the level of disaggregation required (that is, the number of variables cross-classified/level of detail required for each variable).
Australian Standard Geographical Classification
The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is a hierarchical system for the classification of statistical units by geographic areas. The basic spatial unit of the classification is the Census Collection District (CD). Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) are the next level of the classification, and comprise one or more CDs. Under the hierarchical system of the ASGC, SLAs can be further grouped into larger units called Statistical Sub-Divisions, then still larger Statistical Division units. At each level of the classification, the units in aggregate cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.
For the 2011-12 AHS, responding households were coded to CDs according to the July 2006 edition of the ASGC. Note there are limits to the extent to which survey data can be compiled for sub-state areas, particularity those with smaller populations. The ability of the survey to provide reliable estimates for sub-state areas is dependent upon factors such as the number of persons sampled within a particular area and the level of disaggregation required (that is, the number of variables cross-classified/level of detail required for each variable).
See Statistical Geography Volume 1 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Jul 2006 (cat. no. 1216.0) for more information.
In general, data from the AHS can be output for the following geographic areas based on the ASGC:
Capital City/Balance of State
Available for each state/territory. Each capital city is defined as the area covered by the relevant city Statistical Division.
Section of State
In relation to the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey, the Section of State structure uses population counts from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing to classify CDs as urban or rural. Within a state or territory, each Section of State represents an aggregation of non-contiguous geographical areas of a particular urban/rural type. The categories are:
The ASGC Remoteness classification is based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), mapped to CDs from the Census of Population and Housing. Each respondent was classified to one of the following categories, based on the CD in which they resided (and were enumerated):
Australian Statistical Geography Standard
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) brings all the regions for which the ABS publishes statistics within the one framework and is intended for use by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics from 1 July 2011.
While there are superficial similarities between the ASGS and the ASGC, it is important to recognise that the two are fundamentally different and there are significant differences between their respective regions, both in their geographical extent and their conceptual foundation. As a whole, the ASGS represents a more comprehensive, flexible and consistent way of defining Australia's statistical geography than the ASGC. The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography used by the ABS to enable the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated.
See Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) for more information.
The ASGS classification structures are split into two broads groups, the ABS Structures and the Non-ABS Structures.
The ABS Structures are six interrelated hierarchies of regions defined and maintained by the ABS. They are:
The Non-ABS Structures are eight hierarchies of regions which are not defined or maintained by the ABS, but for which the ABS is committed to providing a range of statistics. They generally represent administrative units such as Postcode and Local Government Areas. They are:
In general data from the AHS can be output for the following geographic areas based on the ASGS:
Medicare Locals (MLs) have not been incorporated into the Non-ABS Structures of the 2011 ASGS. These public health geographic areas have been developed by the Australian Government for reporting purposes of the National Health Reform Performance and Accountability Framework. For AHS, SA1s have been allocated between the 61 Medicare Locals across Australia. For analysis purposes, these MLs have been be grouped into seven peer groups by the National Health Performance Authority (in conjunction with the ABS). Each peer group contains MLs with populations of similar remoteness and socioeconomic status to allow for more appropriate comparisons to be made. More information on Medical Locals can be found at www.medicarelocals.gov.au, or, for peer group design information, at www.nhpa.gov.au
This page last updated 5 March 2015
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