Geographic area definitions

Australian Statistical Geography Standard

Most of these area types are defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in its Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) publications. The state of Victoria, the Greater Melbourne Capital City Statistical Area and the Statistical Areas from Level 2 (SA2s) to Level 4 (SA4s) are all standard ABS geographic areas. Local Government Areas (LGAs) are defined by the ABS and fit within the ASGS but are considered a Non-ABS Structure.

View an interactive map of ASGS areas.

Victoria in Future Small Areas

For some previous editions of Victoria in Future, (e.g. VIF2012) projections were published for Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), part of the now obsolete Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). SLAs were geographic subsets of LGAs. There were 210 SLAs in Victoria. As these are no longer supported by ABS, they are no longer used for VIF publication.

The closest equivalent to the SLA in the ASGS is the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2). There are 433 SA2s in Victoria.

It is recognised, however, that users would like to have data available for areas consistent with, but smaller than LGA to allow for local area information and decision making. To meet this need, VIF is published for a series of geographic areas known as Victoria in Future Small Areas (VIFSAs). VIFSAs are based on SA2s, but adjusted to be exact subsets of LGAs. In some cases SA2s are aggregated, some are split, and a small number of VIFSAs are identical to SA2s.

VIFSAs are:

  • smaller than LGAs and fit entirely within them
  • large enough to avoid the uncertainty attached to some projections at SA2 level
  • as far as possible distinct from ABS classification, so as to avoid confusion and misinterpretations.

list of the VIFSAs with corresponding maps (PDF, 1.2 MB) grouped by region is attached.

In addition, the VIFSA map files are downloadable in Mapinfo TAB (ZIP, 8.9 MB) and Esri SHP (ZIP, 8.1 MB) formats for use with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Page last updated: 15/07/19