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Australian Statistical Geography Standard Edition 3

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termClassification Scheme
Synonymous names:Help on this termASGS Edition 3
METeOR identifier:Help on this term747163
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 20/10/2021
Definition:Help on this term

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is the geographical framework defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for disseminating geographically classified statistics.

Classification structure:Help on this term

The ASGS is a hierarchical framework of regions. Its classification structures are split into two broad groups: the ABS Structures and the Non-ABS Structures.

The ABS Structures are hierarchies of regions defined and maintained by the ABS. These structures include a collection of geographies that approximate urban areas. The ABS Structures are built directly from mesh blocks.

The ABS Structures comprise six interrelated hierarchies of regions. They are:

  • Main Structure
  • Indigenous Structure
  • Urban Centres and Localities/Section of State Structure
  • Remoteness Structure
  • Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) Structure
  • Significant Urban Area Structure.

The Non ABS Structures comprise eight geographies 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:

  • Local Government Areas (LGAs)
  • State Electoral Divisions
  • Commonwealth Electoral Divisions
  • Postal Areas
  • Tourism Regions
  • Australian Drainage Divisions
  • Suburbs and Localities
  • Destination Zones


Collection and usage attributes

Comments:Help on this term

The ASGS provides a common framework of statistical geography that enables the publication of statistics that are comparable and geospatially integrated. It provides users with a coherent set of standard regions so that they can access, visualise, analyse and understand statistics.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Origin:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2021. Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 3. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 10 August 2021,


Revision status:Help on this term

The ASGS was re-named to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 3 for the 2021 release. Previous ASGS editions had been named according to the Census of Population and Housing year it referred to, however, this led to confusion as the ASGS has historically been published across several years. 

ASGS Edition 3 will be used for the 2021 Census of Population and Housing, and will be progressively introduced into other ABS data collections from 2022. ASGS Edition 3 is an update of ASGS 2016 (Edition 2). ASGS Edition 3 has a reference period of July 2021 - June 2026.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Australian Statistical Geography Standard 2016 Housing assistance, Standard 10/05/2019, Health, Superseded 20/10/2021, Early Childhood, Standard 24/07/2018, Tasmanian Health, Endorsed 27/06/2017, Children and Families, Standard 20/01/2021, ACT Health, Final 19/07/2018, Commonwealth Department of Social Services (retired), Standard 20/06/2018

Value Domains based on this classification scheme:Help on this term

Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) code (ASGS Edition 3) N(11) Health, Standard 20/10/2021

Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) code (ASGS Edition 3) N(9) Health, Standard 20/10/2021

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