How to categorise local areas in Australia

Victor Fisher

Victor comes to us as an outstanding graduate via .id's Graduate Development Programme after completing his Master of International Urban and Environmental Management at RMIT University. He is particularly interested in how population dynamics are used to inform planning processes and understanding the importance of place.

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6 Responses

  1. Karen Tan says:

    Hello Victor,

    I read with interest, your blog on how to classify Australia’s local areas. This is an ongoing “issue” we tend to have in-house when trying to distinguish between Metropolitan, Urban, Semi-Rural, Rural areas, especially when the population of main cities are spreading outwards, the area classifications should change with it.

    I wanted to ask, how do you classify your areas? Do you use a hard and fast rule?

    Or could you point me to a source where I may obtain this definition, or even a list of already classified geography?

    I have tried looking through the ABS site, but have been unsuccessful in finding this information.

    Thank you in advance,

  2. chris PROSSER says:

    Do you have a list of cities, towns suburbs, with the sub classifications of central business districts, metropolitan suburbs, peri-urban areas, regional cities, rural areas, that you are able to share?

    • Kieran McConnell says:

      Hi Chris,

      We don’t have a specific list but we are rolling out Impact of COVID-19 pages and a series of blogs that outline the potential impact corona virus will have on LGA’s population outcomes. They are being typologised under the categories you have listed.

      Currently, blogs and pages are available for Major Regional Cities and Peri Urban. Pages for Growth Areas and Suburban Areas are live with associated blogs to follow.

      Hope this information can assist.


  3. We find this very useful. It isn’t updated anymore but the formula is in Appendix F, so it’s easy to update yourself.

  4. Matt says:

    Hi Victor,
    Very interesting read, especially since this appears to be a gap in the ABS data / is harder to derive from the current classifications in some meaningful ways.

    For instance, I’m interested in providing some data to broadly group into urban / rural but only have postcodes to work with. While I have the ABS tools to translate postcodes to SA2 measures (as LGAs may be less useful for me), translating these SA2 measures to be reflective of rural or urban classifications has proven difficult.

    Do you have any recommendations or resources for converting postcodes to the LGA classifications above (or more broadly urban or rural)? I’m hoping to make a mini-record / tool for future use as we generally only collect postcodes. Any assistance would be appreciated.



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