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released: 19 Mar 2004 author: AIHW

The development over the last decade of geographical classifications for Australia that describe areas in terms of relative remoteness has provided an opportunity to compare a wide range of health and welfare indicators across Australia's major cities, regional and remote areas. This publication reviews the methodology behind the three major classifications that describe areas in this way - the RRMA (Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas) classification, the ARIA (Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia) classification and the ASGC (Australian Standard Geographical Classification) Remoteness Areas classification. This publication also summarises each classification's strengths and weaknesses and describes how the classifications are applied to administrative and survey data.

ISSN 1448 9775; ISBN 978 1 74024 369 8; Cat. no. PHE 53; 77pp.; Internet Only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material (138K PDF)
    • Title page and verso
    • Contents
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
    • Explanatory notes
    • Geography
    • Terminology
    • Foreword
  • Sections
    • Introduction (453K PDF)
    • The remoteness classifications
      • Remoteness classifications - an overview
      • Methodological differences
      • RRMA
      • ARIA
      • ASGC Remoteness Areas
    • Strengths and weaknesses of the three methodologies and classifications (118K PDF)
      • Strengths and weaknesses of RRMA
      • Strengths and weaknesses of ARIA
      • Strengths and weaknesses of ASGC Remoteness Areas
    • The practical limitations of remoteness classifications
      • The ravages of time
        • An interim fix for boundary changes
      • Funding and remoteness classifications
      • Using remoteness classifications at the local level
    • The geographical guide - SLAs and the three remoteness classifications (279K PDF)
  • End matter (133K PDF)
    • Appendix A-Case studies of SLAs
    • Appendix B-Interpolating ARIA and ARIA+ to a 1 km grid
    • Appendix C-Population distributions
    • References

Recommended citation

AIHW 2004. Rural, regional and remote health: a guide to remoteness classifications. Rural health series no. 4. Cat. no. PHE 53. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 24 April 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442467589>.