[WWW - 2023.07.31]
Identifying and Definitional Attributes
QH 040395 v2
Data Element
Data Element
The numeric descriptor for a postal delivery area, aligned with locality, suburb or place for the address of a party (person or organisation), as defined by Australia Post.
Postcode is an important part of a person's or organisation's postal address and facilitates written communication. It is one of a number of geographic identifiers that can be used to determine a geographic location. Postcode may assist with uniquely identifying a person or organisation.
Australian postcode
Representational Attributes
Numeric Character
Permissible Values


Valid Australian postcode
Supplementary Values


Collection and Usage Attributes
The postcode book is updated more than once annually as postcodes are a dynamic entity and are constantly changing.
May be collected as part of Address line or separately. Postal addresses may be different from where a person actually resides, or a service is actually located.
Leave Postcode - Australian blank for:
Any overseas address
Unknown address
No fixed address.
This metadata item is common to both the National Community Services Data Dictionary and the National Health Data Dictionary. Postcode-Australian may be used in the analysis of data on a geographical basis, which involves a conversion from postcodes to the ABS postal areas. This conversion results in some inaccuracy of information. However, in some data sets postcode is the only geographic identifier, therefore the use of other more accurate indicators (e.g. Statistical Local Area) is not always possible. When dealing with aggregate data, postal areas, converted from postcodes, can be mapped to ASGC codes using an ABS concordance, for example to determine SLAs. It should be noted that such concordances should not be used to determine the SLA of any individual's postcode. Where individual street addresses are available, these can be mapped to ASGC codes (eg SLAs) using the ABS National Localities Index (NLI). Refer to ABS Catalogue No. 1252.0 for full details of the NLI. NHDD specific: DSS Cardiovascular disease (clinical): Postcode-Australian can also be used in association with the Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) index (Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia - CD-ROM Latest Issue: Aug 1996 was released on 30/10/1998) to derive socio-economic disadvantage, which is associated with cardiovascular risk. People from lower socio-economic groups are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those from higher socio-economic groups. In 1997, people aged 25 - 64 living in the most disadvantaged group of the population died from cardiovascular disease at around twice the rate of those living in the least disadvantaged group (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2001. Heart, stroke and vascular diseases- Australian facts 2001.). This difference in death rates has existed since at least the 1970s. Other references: AS5017 Health Care Client Identification, 2002, Sydney: Standards Australia AS4846 Health Care Provider Identification, 2004, Sydney: Standards Australia
Relational Attributes
Related Metadata References

Related Metadata References_IR

  • 1 - 7
ViewRelationshipMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifier & VersionApproval Status
Relates toData ElementData ElementAustralian state/territory IdentifierQH 040394 Version 2Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementLabour force statusQH 040828 Version 1Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementPostal delivery point identifierQH 040823 Version 1Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementPostal delivery service numberQH 040822 Version 1Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementPostal delivery service type abbreviationQH 040824 Version 1Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementPostcodeQH 040395 Version 1Superseded
Relates toData ElementData ElementSuburb/town/locality nameQH 040859 Version 1Superseded
Implementation in Metadata Sets


  • 1 - 2
ViewMetadata Item TypeMetadata Item SubtypeNameIdentifer & VersionObligationApproval StatusEffective FromEffective To
Information AssetData CollectionElective Surgery Data Collection (ESDC)QH 020110 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jul-199630-Jun-2009
Information AssetData CollectionEmergency Data Collection (EDC)QH 020159 Version 1MandatorySuperseded01-Jan-200330-Jun-2009
Source and Reference Attributes
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
National Health Data Dictionary