Definitions of standard geographical areas

State Suburbs (SSC)

State Suburbs (SSC) are an ABS approximation of localities gazetted by the Geographical Place Name authority in each State and Territory. Gazetted Localities are the officially recognised boundaries of suburbs (in cities and larger towns) and localities (outside cities and larger towns). Gazetted Localities cover most of Australia.

Presently there remain areas of rural South Australia and rural Australian Capital Territory that are undefined. Various islands offshore from New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and some inshore water areas and islands are also undefined.

Where the same State Suburb name appears in different States or Territories, the State or Territory abbreviation appears in parenthesis after the name. Where the name is duplicated within a State or Territory, an identifying name based on the Local Government Area name plus the State or Territory abbreviation is used. State Suburb names are therefore unique. It should be noted that there is no connection between State Suburbs and Local Government Areas. The Local Government Area name is used only to differentiate between duplicate names within a State or Territory.

The above information is from the ABS. Access the source page here.

Postcodes (POAs = Postal Areas)

Postal Areas (POAs) are an ABS approximation of postcodes created to enable the release of ABS data on areas that, as closely as possible, approximate postcodes. This enables the comparison of ABS data with other data collected using postcodes as the geographic reference. Postal Areas are approximated using one or more Mesh Blocks (MBs) from the ASGS. Postal Areas are defined to cover the whole of geographic Australia.

The above information is from the ABS. Access the source page here.

Local Government Area suffixes

Local Government Area names are abbreviated in the Local Government Area structure. A suffix also indicates the Local Government Area status. Examples of these include:

  • City of Albury: Albury (C)
  • District Council of Copper Coast: Copper Coast (DC)

Where the same Local Government Area name appears in different States or Territories, the State or Territory abbreviation appears in parenthesis after the name. Local Government Area names are therefore unique.

In all States and the Northern Territory each incorporated area has an official status. In this ASGS edition, the various Local Government Area status types currently in use include:

  • New South Wales: Cities (C) and Areas (A)
  • Victoria: Cities (C), Rural Cities (RC), Boroughs (B) and Shires (S)
  • Queensland: Cities (C), Shires (S), Towns (T) and Regional Councils (R)
  • South Australia: Cities (C), Rural Cities (RC), Municipalities/Municipal Councils (M), District Councils (DC), Regional Councils (RegC), Towns (T) and Aboriginal Councils (AC)
  • Western Australia: Cities (C), Towns (T) and Shires (S)
  • Tasmania: Cities (C) and Municipalities (M)
  • Northern Territory: Cities (C), Towns (T), Municipalities (M) and Shires (S).

The above information is from the ABS. Access the source page here.

SA1s, SA2s and SA3s

When viewing datasets on the map you can see the data displayed at three different levels SA3, SA2, SA1. SA1 is the most granular of these and is the area upon which all calculations in Community Insight Australia are built.

We use the 2016 definitions (there are a few changes after each census).

  • SA1s have a population of between 200 and 800, with an average of around 400 people. Most of the data generated from the ABS Census is available at SA1 level.
  • SA2s are similar in size to suburbs, and are called by suburb names. This is the smallest granularity Centrelink data is available.
  • SA3s are regions. Most of our health data has a granularity of SA3.

The following table shows how many of each area there are in Australia. So there is an average of 25 SA1s in each SA2, and an average of 6 SA2s in every SA3. The number is dependent on the geography.

2016 Areas SA1 SA2 SA3 SA4
How many in Australia 57,523 2,310 358 107  

 

For more information see ABS 1270.0.55.001 – Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)