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Statistical standard for geographic areas 2018: new standard released

Stats NZ has released the Statistical standard for geographic areas 2018 (SSGA18). SSGA18 is Stats NZ’s official standard for statistical geographic areas in New Zealand. It allows statistical units, such as households, people, or businesses, to be assigned to the location where they live, work, and operate. SSGA18 replaces the 1992 New Zealand Standard Areas Classification.

The main changes from the 1992 classification are the creation of three new geographies:

  • Statistical area 1 (SA1) is a new output geography:
    • It is designed to minimise suppression of population data in multivariate statistics tables.
    • There is a target population size of 100–200 residents.
  • Statistical area 2 (SA2) replaces the area unit geography.
    • It provides an output geography for higher aggregations of population data than can be provided at the SA1 level.
    • SA2s were drawn to incorporate new urban/rural boundaries, business-commercial areas, and to improve delineation of communities of interest, eg suburbs.
  • Urban rural replaces the urban area geography:
    • Urban areas have been redesigned to represent the urban 'footprint', ie areas of high population density. Previously, urban areas represented the urban footprint plus the surrounding commuting zone. As a result, populations for the new urban areas are generally lower than the populations based on the old urban areas.
    • Rural centres are now known as rural settlements and are identifiable in the urban rural geography.

See the Statistical standard for geographic areas 2018 (SSGA18).

Go to Geographic boundary files for information about downloading geospatial boundary files.

View and download geographic classifications and concordances in Ariā.

Compare the geographies used for 2013 Census outputs with the 2018 geographies in the Stats NZ Geographic Boundary Viewer.

View geographic boundaries in the Stats NZ Geographic Data Service, along with 2013 Census usual resident population, occupied dwelling, and household counts for the SA1, SA2, and urban rural geographies.

Published 7 December 2017

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