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Topics @ a Glance - Regional Statistics
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Spatial Statistical Framework

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is responding to the challenge of better integrating statistical and geospatial information by developing the Statistical Spatial Framework. By providing a common approach to connecting people-centric (socio-economic) information to a location, and improve the accessibility and usability of this spatially-enabled information, this Framework will enable:

  • improved planning for regional economies and communities
  • targeted service delivery at the small area level
  • community level decision making
  • integration of population, social and economic data in current geospatial analysis.

More information about the Statistical Spatial Framework can be found on the National Statistical Service website.

2011 Census of Population and Housing Data

The Census of Population and Housing is a key source of high quality statistical data for small geographic areas. Information about the 2011 Census of Population and Housing can be accessed from the Census page on the ABS website.

The first release phase of 2011 Census data commenced on 21 June 2012. This included the release of core demographic data items which are freely available in a variety of products from the Census Data & analysis page on the ABS website. This page also provides access to TableBuilder Pro and DataPacks which are designed for advanced Census data users.

The second release phase commenced on 30 October 2012 and included data items requiring more detailed processing, such as the 'Occupation' and 'Method of Travel to Work' variables. Second release 2011 Census data is now available in TableBuilder (Basic and Pro). The Place of Enumeration and Expanded Community Profiles with 2011 Census second release data are also available. The Working Population Community Profiles and online DataPacks for Place of Enumeration, Expanded and Working population profiles were released on 20 November 2012. Mesh Blocks are the smallest geographic region in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), and the smallest geographical unit for which Census data are available. For 2011, Mesh Block counts were released on 11 December 2012 by usual residence for basic person and dwelling counts in Mesh Block Counts, 2011 (cat. no. 2074.0).

The supplementary data release, or third release, relates to the dissemination of highly specialised products such as Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) and the Census Sample Files. The third release began on 28 March 2013, with products released progressively until the end of 2013. This will finalise all Census data output from the 2011 Census.

More detailed information about the 2011 Census data products, the release schedule and changes between the 2006 and 2011 Census, is included in Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Products and Services, 2011 (cat. no. 2011.0.55.001).

The New Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

In July 2011 the ABS began to progressively replace the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The ASGS is a hierarchy of geographic structures (boundaries) designed to meet the specific requirements of ABS statistical outputs as well as being able to represent commonly used Non ABS boundaries, such as Local Government Areas (LGAs). The ASGC regions such as Census Collection Districts (CCDs), Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and Statistical Divisions (SDs) have been replaced by the new set of statistical areas.

The ABS published the ASGS manual with the boundaries, labels and codes for many ASGS regions in December 2010, see Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001). The ASGS came into effect on 1 July 2011.

Regions included in the ASGS Indigenous Structure were released in Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 2 - Indigenous Structure, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.002), in September 2011.

The ASGS manual containing the digital boundaries, labels and codes for regions not defined by the ABS, such as postal areas, state suburbs and electoral divisions, was first released in July 2011. The latest release is in Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 3 - Non ABS Structures (cat. no. 1270.0.55.003).

Urban Centres and Localities, and Section of State regions were released in Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 4 - Significant Urban Areas, Urban Centres and Localities, Section of State, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.004), in October 2012.

The fifth ASGS Structures publication, Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure (cat. no. 1270.0.55.004), was released in January 2013.

ABS defined ASGS regions will not change until the next Census in 2016. Regions not defined by the ABS will be updated annually.

Correspondence files are used to transform data from one geography to another. The ABS has made an extensive range of correspondence files available to assist with the implementation of the ASGS. Several correspondences, including LGA, were released in June and July 2012 in Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Correspondences, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.006). An LGA to Remoteness 2011 correspondence file became available in January 2013.

You can find more information about the ASGS in the Statistical Geography section of the ABS website. If you have any questions regarding the ASGS please email

Annual Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

Preliminary sub-state population estimates as at June 2012 were released in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 3218.0) on 30 April 2013. This release of Regional Population Growth contains estimates for Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s) and other ASGS-based regions, including Local Government Areas, Remoteness Areas and Commonwealth and State Electoral Divisions.

Revised estimates for June 2012 will be released on 30 August 2013 in Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 3218.0). Age-sex breakdowns of these estimates will also be released on the same day in Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 3235.0).

These August releases will include a special, one-off revision to all regional ERP back to 1991. The availability of these revised estimates for the various sub-state geographies, such as SA2s and local government areas, will differ depending on the type of estimate (total or age-sex) and past availability. For more information please see the Upcoming Revisions to Population Estimates.

The 20 year revisions to regional ERP follows from the 20 year revision to national and state/territory ERP, released in Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2012 (cat. no. 3101.0) on 20 June 2013.

Regional Internal Migration Estimates Released

Migration, Australia, 2010-11 (cat. no. 3412.0) was released on 15 August 2012 and includes, for the first time, a series of annual experimental estimates of regional internal migration. Data cubes attached to this product provide summaries of this experimental data for years ending 30 June 2007 to 2011, based on the 2011 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).

There are four new regional internal migration data cubes that allow for exploring the trends within the past five years:
  • SLA/SSD/SD-level geography, arrivals/departures/net movers (table 7) - e.g. the detailed small area level can show just how many people move in to and out of Adelaide city each year and if more move in to or out of regional centres.
  • SD/SSDs with capital cities, by age group and sex (table 8) - e.g. the age and sex characteristics can show which areas young people are moving out of and areas oldies are moving in to.
  • inter-SD/SSD data (table 9) - e.g. the source and destination aspects can show where all the new Gold Coast residents are arriving from and where the drought-affected former Far West (NSW) people are moving to.
  • part of state, single year of age (table 10) - e.g. the detailed age breakdown can show the ages that more people move in to and out of our capital cities.

For further information see paragraphs 59-61 of the Explanatory Notes.

Regional Profiles

Looking for data for your region? The National Regional Profile (NRP) contains data for over 3,000 regions across Australia, with five years of data where it is available. The NRP is available through the Data by Region navigator which uses a map interface to make it easier to find your region of interest.

The NRP contains a range of data from the ABS and other sources, for geographic areas based on the Australian Standard Geographical Standard (ASGS), such as Statistical Areas and Local Government Areas right up to State/Territory and Australia. The data is presented for all years on common boundaries, making it easy to compare data over time. Some of the data in the NRP is not released at such small levels anywhere else on the ABS website.


Local Government and ABS (cat. no. 1376.0)
A newsletter aimed at keeping local government informed of key ABS data and other relevant developments. This annual release includes news about ABS releases and other information to assist in using data. 'Local Government and ABS' is updated during the year with any new information as it becomes available.

What's New in Regional Statistics (cat. no. 1386.0)
This newsletter highlights developments in statistics relevant to regions and other information of likely interest to users of small area data. 'What's New in Regional Statistics' includes data released by the ABS' Regional Statistics Program and other articles on relevant ABS releases. This annual release is updated during the year as new information becomes available.

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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