The geographical location is reported using a five digit numerical code to indicate the Statistical Local Area (SLA) within the reporting state or territory, as defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), catalogue number 1216.0). It is a composite of state/territory identifier and SLA (first digit = state/territory identifier, next four digits = SLA).
The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) is updated by the ABS on an annual basis, with a date of effect of 1 July each year.
Up until 2007, the ABS's National Localities Index (NLI) (catalogue number 1252.0.55.001) was available as a coding tool designed to assist users assign the ASGC Main Structure codes to street address information. However, the NLI is no longer produced by the ABS. To replace the Localities file of the NLI, the ABS has created a Locality to SLA correspondence file for 2010. This file is available on request by contacting ABS Geography at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When collecting the geographical location of a person's usual place of residence, the ABS recommends that 'usual' be defined as: 'the place where the person has or intends to live for 6 months or more, or the place that the person regards as their main residence, or where the person has no other residence, the place they currently reside.' Apart from collecting a person's usual place of residence there is also a need in some collections to collect area of residence immediately prior to or after assistance is provided, or at some other point in time.
Geographical location is reported using SLA to enable accurate aggregation of information to larger areas within the ASGC (such as Statistical Subdivisions and Statistical Divisions) as well as detailed analysis at the SLA level. The use of SLA also allows analysis relating the data to information compiled by the ABS on the demographic and other characteristics of the population of each SLA. Analyses facilitated by the inclusion of SLA information include:
comparison of the use of services by persons residing in different geographical areas;
characterisation of catchment areas and populations for establishments for planning purposes; and
documentation of the provision of services to residents of states or territories other than the state or territory of the provider.
Source and reference attributes
Australian Standard Geographical Classification (Australian Bureau of Statistics catalogue number 1216.0)