Notes on Geographic Area Characteristics

Census data and tabulations are often cross-classified by geographic area. A list of the most commonly used geographic area characteristics with their mnemonics follows. These characteristics have been created during processing of Census data. For information on the full classifications for these characteristics, refer to Catalogue of 1976 Census Tables Final (2103.0), Information Paper No. 20 LGA Code List (2118.0) and the technical documentation accompanying each 1976 Census data release (see Section 3 for details of data releases).

Australian Electoral Division AED
Electoral boundaries are reviewed and changed periodically, and Census data is available in accordance with the latest boundaries. Preliminary data was based on the 1975 distribution.

Collection District CLD
The Collection District (CD) is the smallest geographical area used in the collection and dissemination of census data. A CD is an area containing approximately 300 dwellings in urban areas and fewer in rural areas. CD's can be aggregated to form other geographic levels, such as Statistical Divisions. The mnemonic CLD refers to Collection District, and the mnemonic CDN refers to aggregated Collection Districts.

Collection District CDN
Refer to CLD

Local Government Area LGA
This is the principal tabulation unit used in the publication of Census data. LGA's correspond in all but a few instances to legal Local Government Authority areas as defined at 31 January 1976. The exceptions are a) some very minor areas for which boundary changes, involving nil or very minor populations, were received too late for implementation and b) the City of Brisbane, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory which are divided into statistical areas and treated as LGA's for Census purposes. The mnemonic LGA refers to Local Government Area. The mnemonic LGS refers to Local Government Area Sections, which are partitions of LGA's identifying each partial or complete urban centre or bounded rural locality within the LGA, and if necessary the remaining part of the LGA.

Local Government Area Section LGS
Refer to LGA

Section of State SCS
This identifies geographic areas which are aggregations of CD's on a basis which ignores legal boundaries. Section of State boundaries are drawn for statistical purposes only. Five sections of State are recognised

a) Major urban - urban centres with a population over 100,000
b) Other urban - urban centres with a population of 1,000 to 99,999
c) Bounded rural locality - population clusters of 200 - 999 population
d) Rural balance
e) Migratory.

Persons enumerated on board vessels in and between Australian ports, or on board long distance trains, buses or aircraft are classified as migratory. Such persons are not included in the population of specific LGA's, but are shown as a balancing item in the population of a State or Territory. By definition, there is no migratory population in the Australian Capital Territory.

Statistical Division STD
Statistical Divisions are designed to be relatively homogeneous regions characterised by identifiable social and economic links between the inhabitants and between the economic units within the region, under the unifying influence of one or more major towns or cities. A Capital City Division is predominantly urban in character and the boundaries are delineated to contain the anticipated urban development of the city (and associated urban centres) for a period of at least twenty years.

For the purposes of the 1976 Census, Statistical Divisions, Statistical Subdivisions and Statistical Districts were designed to be compatible, wherever possible, with State Planning Regions.

Statistical Subdivision / Statistical District SSD
Statistical Subdivisions are delineated in most States on the same basis as Statistical Divisions but as a portion of the latter. In New South Wales, Statistical Subdivisions are delineated mainly by reference to other criteria.

Statistical Districts have been delineated in respect of urban centres with a population of 25.000 or more, using concepts and criteria similar to those of Capital City Divisions. These fixed boundaries delimit areas which, for general statistical purposes, are free from the problems imposed by the moving boundaries of urban centres.

In selected cases, especially in Victoria and South Australia, Statistical Districts were delineated around urban centres with less than 25,000 population, where there was a demand for intercensal population estimates for the area and where existing LGA boundaries were obviously inadequate for this purpose.


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