Introducing the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
A New Statistical Geography for Australia...
In December 2010 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) - Volume 1 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001). The ASGS is the geographical standard on which the ABS will release statistical data. It comes into effect from July 2011 and will replace the existing Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) which will be released for the last time in July 2011.
How is the ASGS better...
The ASGS separates the geographies defined by the ABS from those not defined by the ABS such as Local Government Areas, (see diagram below). The ASGS is based on a small building block geographic area called the Mesh Block on which data is stored but generally not released. These changes allows ABS statistical areas to be designed to better reflect functional areas as well as meeting more optimal population sizes for releasing data from individual statistical collections. The ASGS will be a stable geography, with the ABS Structures only being updated every 5 years, primarily through splits, rather than every year as currently occurs. This will facilitate far better time series data into the future.
Converting to the ASGS...
Data can be converted to the ASGS using either an address coder or a geographic correspondence file. The potential to do this varies between datasets, depending on the nature of the data and how it is collected and stored. Within the ABS some data will be published concurrently on both ASGC and ASGS geographies for a short period and some older data will be converted to ASGS regions to create a time series. Detailed information on individual collections will be released on the ABS website through individual information papers. The ABS geography portal will provide a summary of this information along with links to the ASGS publications, fact sheets on ASGS regions and correspondence files for converting data.
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard is available in PDF format (363KB)