Mesh block

Mesh blocks or meshblocks are a small geographic unit used in the census of several countries.

New Zealand

New Zealand's countrywide meshblock framework was first set up in 1976,[1] although the term dates back to at least the 1916 Census.[2] The meshblock pattern is updated each year. It comprised 41,376 meshblocks at the 2006 Census,[3] increasing to 46,637 meshblocks in 2013.[4]


In Australia mesh blocks were developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics from 2006, and released in February 2008, although they will not be fully implemented until 2011. There are now 314,369 mesh blocks in Australia. They are intended to be the basic unit which all other administrative, political (both state and federal), suburban, postal, cadastral, and statistical divisions in Australia will be composed of. This is so that statistics can be easily made available for the many types of uses needed, such as non-standard areas like water catchments etc. Mesh blocks are about four or five times smaller than the currently used Census Collection Districts.[5] Most of those in residential areas cover an area of around 30-60 dwellings, which is meant to be the smallest size data can be gathered so that people would not be able to be identified.


External links

  • Mesh Blocks Digital Boundaries, Australia, 2006, ABS
  • Mesh blocks: A new building block of Australian geography
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