Remoteness classification (ASGS-RA) N
Identifying and definitional attributes
|Metadata item type:||Value Domain|
|Synonymous names:||Remoteness area; Remoteness structure|
|Registration status:||Health, Superseded 06/09/2018|
Australian Statistical Geography Standard-Remoteness Area (ASGS-RA) is a geographical classification which defines locations in terms of remoteness, i.e. the physical distance of a location from the nearest Urban Centre.
Geographic remoteness is essentially a measure of a physical location's level of access to goods and services. Large population centres tend to have a greater range of goods and services available than small centres. Typically, a population centre is not likely to provide a full range of goods and services until its population reaches around 250,000 people.
The measures of remoteness used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) are based on population estimates obtained from the Census of Population and Housing, conducted every 5 years. Remoteness measures are calculated using Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA+) scores, which are based on the distance of geographic locations from the nearest population centre in various size ranges. The lower the ARIA+ score for a location, the better its level of access to goods and services.
Information in relation to how remoteness is defined and calculated is available from the Geography portal on the ABS website.
Information in relation to how ARIA+ scores are calculated for physical locations is available from the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre (APMRC) website.
|Maximum character length:||1|
Collection and usage attributes
|Guide for use:|
CODE 1 Major cities of Australia
'Major cities of Australia' includes Statistical Area Level 1s (SA1s) with an average Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA+) index value of 0 to 0.2.
CODE 2 Inner regional Australia
'Inner regional Australia' includes SA1s with an average ARIA+ index value greater than 0.2 and less than or equal to 2.4.
CODE 3 Outer regional Australia
'Outer regional Australia' includes SA1s with an average ARIA+ index value greater than 2.4 and less than or equal to 5.92.
CODE 4 Remote Australia
'Remote Australia' includes SA1s with an average ARIA+ index value greater than 5.92 and less than or equal to 10.53.
CODE 5 Very remote Australia
'Very remote Australia' includes SA1s with an average ARIA+ index value greater than 10.53.
CODE 6 Migratory
'Migratory' is composed of off-shore, shipping and migratory SA1s.
In this value domain, physical distance is defined in terms of ARIA+ codes, rather than a simple linear distance between points.
The list of permissible values for this value domain, i.e. codes 1 to 6, is intended to be directly mappable to the values used by the ABS to describe remoteness areas, i.e. codes 0 to 5.
In its initial form, as developed by the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Centres (now located within the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre) and the then Department of Health and Aged Care in 1999, ARIA scores ranged from 0 to 12 and were based on proximity to 4 points of reference.
A new version, ARIA+, was introduced in 2003, with ARIA+ scores now based on proximity to 5 points of reference. Also, changes were made to account for Tasmania's unique status as an island state, and to increase accuracy for locations at the urban fringe.
Prior to 2011, ARIA+ scores were calculated for individual Census Collection Districts (CCDs). Following the phasing out of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) and the introduction of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) by the ABS in 2011, ARIA+ scores are now calculated for individual Statistical Area Level 1s (SA1s).
Source and reference attributes
|Submitting organisation:||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|
|Steward:||Australian Institute of Health and Welfare|
Publications detailing the ASGS remoteness classification are available free of charge from the ABS website:
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013. 1270.055.005 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011. Viewed 15 July 2013,
Information relating to the development of the ARIA and ARIA+ scores by the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GISCA) is available from the APMRC website:
Australian Population and Migration Research Centre (APMRC) 2013. ARIA (Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia). Viewed 15 July 2013,
|Related metadata references:|
See also Admitted patient care remoteness classification (ASGS-RA) N Health, Superseded 06/09/2018, ACT Health, Final 09/08/2018
See also Medicare remoteness classification (ASGS-RA) N Commonwealth Department of Health, Standard 14/10/2015
See also Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) remoteness classification (ASGS-RA) X Commonwealth Department of Health, Standard 17/12/2015
Supersedes Remoteness classification (ASGC-RA) N Housing assistance, Standard 01/05/2013, Health, Superseded 21/11/2013, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 10/04/2013
Has been superseded by Remoteness classification (ASGS-RA) N Housing assistance, Standard 10/05/2019, Health, Standard 06/09/2018
|Data elements implementing this value domain:|
Health-care incident—geographic remoteness, remoteness classification (ASGS-RA) code N Health, Superseded 06/09/2018
Person—geographic remoteness, classification (ASGS-RA) N Health, Superseded 06/09/2018
Classification scheme attributes
|Classification scheme:||Australian Statistical Geography Standard 2011|
|Synonymous names:||ASGS 2011|
|Registration status:||Health, Superseded 06/12/2016|
Early Childhood, Superseded 24/07/2018
Tasmanian Health, Archived 27/06/2017
Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, Standard 01/11/2012
Commonwealth Department of Health, Standard 16/10/2015
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016
Community Services (retired), Standard 06/12/2011
ACT Health, Final 09/08/2018
|Definition:||The Australian Bureau of Statistics framework for statistical geography. The main purpose of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is the dissemination of geographically classified statistics. It provides a common framework of statistical geography which enables the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated.|
|Context:||From July 2011, the ABS will progressively replace the current Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) with the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) as its geographical framework.|
The ASGS classification structures are split into two broads groups, the ABS Structures and the Non-ABS Structures.
The ABS Structures are hierarchies of regions defined and maintained by the ABS. The regions that comprise the ABS Structures will remain unchanged until the next Census of Population and Housing in 2016.
The ABS Structures are built directly from mesh blocks. Non-ABS Structures are approximated by mesh blocks, the Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s), or the Statistical Areas Level 2 (SA2s).
The ABS Structures comprise six interrelated hierarchies of regions. They are:
The Non-ABS Structures comprise 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 regions and are approximated by mesh blocks, SA1s or SA2s. They are:
Source and reference attributes
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011. 1270.0.55.001 - Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/
Canberra: ABS. Viewed on 15/07/2011.