The Australian Bureau of Statistics intends to replace the current Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) with effect from July 2011.
The ASGC is used for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. The ASGC has been the foundation of the statistical geography used by the ABS, and many other organisations, since 1984. Over the years it has been criticised on many grounds including: lack of stability over time, inconsistent population sizes of the defined areas and that some of the areas were not meaningful. Furthermore it is incompatible with mesh blocks.
The ASGS has therefore been developed to address these shortcomings. It will be based on mesh bocks and will define more stable, consistent and meaningful areas than the ASGC. It will be the new basis for the publication of the complete range of ABS spatial statistics. The ASGS will become the essential reference for understanding and interpreting the geographical context of ABS statistics.
This is the third and final information paper designed to explain aspects of the ASGS. Its purpose is to provide background to stakeholders regarding the Statistical Area 3s (SA3s) and 4s (SA4s) of the ASGS to facilitate consultation on their design.
Specific information is available on the current ASGC and the proposed ASGS respectively in the following ABS publications: Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) July 2009 (cat. no. 1216.0), The Review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (cat. no. 1216.0.55.001) and Outcome from the Review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (cat. no. 1216.0.55.002).
For more information on statistical geography please view the ABS Geography portal.