Rethinking remoteness

a simple and objective approach

Yuejen Zhao, Steven Guthridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper re-examines the characteristics and assumptions of current remoteness/accessibility classifications in Australia and proposes a simple and easily understandable alternative measure for remoteness. In this study, remoteness is redefined simply as the average distance between two nearest people within an appropriate spatial unit where population distribution is assumed to be homogenous. By definition, the most straightforward remoteness and incapacity index (RII) would be remoteness times a measure of the incapacity for social and commercial interaction, where remoteness is gauged by the square root of the area divided by the population, and incapacity is measured by the reciprocal of population. Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Local Area (SLA) level population data and digital boundaries have been utilised for assessment of this index. The utility of the RII is demonstrated with two examples of activity measures for general practitioner services and businesses. At the State/Territory level, RIIs are negatively related to both general practitioner services per person (Pearson correlation coefficient r = -0.873), and the number of businesses per person (r = -0.546). The correlation can be further enhanced by normalising the distributions of the remoteness scores with a simple logarithmic function. The strong correlations confirm that remoteness has a substantial inverse impact on daily activities. Greater distance means longer time and higher costs for travelling, diseconomy of scale, and higher personnel costs. The RII provides an alternative measure of remoteness that is both intuitive and statistically straightforward and, at an SLA level, closely coincides with the commonly used but complex Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia Plus (ARIA+). Significantly, the RII is free of the service specific and policy sensitive adjustments justified by accessibility that have been introduced into existing measures. � 2008 The Author Journal compilation � 2008 Institute of Australian Geographers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalGeographical Research
Volume46
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

accessibility
general practitioner
wage costs
human being
demographic situation
population distribution
cost
index
statistics
costs
interaction
services
time
distribution
policy

Cite this

@article{689f563c62dc474aa21833dacdb2de02,
title = "Rethinking remoteness: a simple and objective approach",
abstract = "This paper re-examines the characteristics and assumptions of current remoteness/accessibility classifications in Australia and proposes a simple and easily understandable alternative measure for remoteness. In this study, remoteness is redefined simply as the average distance between two nearest people within an appropriate spatial unit where population distribution is assumed to be homogenous. By definition, the most straightforward remoteness and incapacity index (RII) would be remoteness times a measure of the incapacity for social and commercial interaction, where remoteness is gauged by the square root of the area divided by the population, and incapacity is measured by the reciprocal of population. Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Local Area (SLA) level population data and digital boundaries have been utilised for assessment of this index. The utility of the RII is demonstrated with two examples of activity measures for general practitioner services and businesses. At the State/Territory level, RIIs are negatively related to both general practitioner services per person (Pearson correlation coefficient r = -0.873), and the number of businesses per person (r = -0.546). The correlation can be further enhanced by normalising the distributions of the remoteness scores with a simple logarithmic function. The strong correlations confirm that remoteness has a substantial inverse impact on daily activities. Greater distance means longer time and higher costs for travelling, diseconomy of scale, and higher personnel costs. The RII provides an alternative measure of remoteness that is both intuitive and statistically straightforward and, at an SLA level, closely coincides with the commonly used but complex Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia Plus (ARIA+). Significantly, the RII is free of the service specific and policy sensitive adjustments justified by accessibility that have been introduced into existing measures. � 2008 The Author Journal compilation � 2008 Institute of Australian Geographers.",
keywords = "assessment method, census, population density, population distribution, population estimation, population policy, spatial analysis, Australasia, Australia, Aria",
author = "Yuejen Zhao and Steven Guthridge",
year = "2008",
language = "English",
volume = "46",
pages = "--",
journal = "Geographical Research",
issn = "1745-5863",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

Rethinking remoteness : a simple and objective approach. / Zhao, Yuejen; Guthridge, Steven.

In: Geographical Research, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2008, p. -.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Rethinking remoteness

T2 - a simple and objective approach

AU - Zhao, Yuejen

AU - Guthridge, Steven

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - This paper re-examines the characteristics and assumptions of current remoteness/accessibility classifications in Australia and proposes a simple and easily understandable alternative measure for remoteness. In this study, remoteness is redefined simply as the average distance between two nearest people within an appropriate spatial unit where population distribution is assumed to be homogenous. By definition, the most straightforward remoteness and incapacity index (RII) would be remoteness times a measure of the incapacity for social and commercial interaction, where remoteness is gauged by the square root of the area divided by the population, and incapacity is measured by the reciprocal of population. Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Local Area (SLA) level population data and digital boundaries have been utilised for assessment of this index. The utility of the RII is demonstrated with two examples of activity measures for general practitioner services and businesses. At the State/Territory level, RIIs are negatively related to both general practitioner services per person (Pearson correlation coefficient r = -0.873), and the number of businesses per person (r = -0.546). The correlation can be further enhanced by normalising the distributions of the remoteness scores with a simple logarithmic function. The strong correlations confirm that remoteness has a substantial inverse impact on daily activities. Greater distance means longer time and higher costs for travelling, diseconomy of scale, and higher personnel costs. The RII provides an alternative measure of remoteness that is both intuitive and statistically straightforward and, at an SLA level, closely coincides with the commonly used but complex Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia Plus (ARIA+). Significantly, the RII is free of the service specific and policy sensitive adjustments justified by accessibility that have been introduced into existing measures. � 2008 The Author Journal compilation � 2008 Institute of Australian Geographers.

AB - This paper re-examines the characteristics and assumptions of current remoteness/accessibility classifications in Australia and proposes a simple and easily understandable alternative measure for remoteness. In this study, remoteness is redefined simply as the average distance between two nearest people within an appropriate spatial unit where population distribution is assumed to be homogenous. By definition, the most straightforward remoteness and incapacity index (RII) would be remoteness times a measure of the incapacity for social and commercial interaction, where remoteness is gauged by the square root of the area divided by the population, and incapacity is measured by the reciprocal of population. Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistical Local Area (SLA) level population data and digital boundaries have been utilised for assessment of this index. The utility of the RII is demonstrated with two examples of activity measures for general practitioner services and businesses. At the State/Territory level, RIIs are negatively related to both general practitioner services per person (Pearson correlation coefficient r = -0.873), and the number of businesses per person (r = -0.546). The correlation can be further enhanced by normalising the distributions of the remoteness scores with a simple logarithmic function. The strong correlations confirm that remoteness has a substantial inverse impact on daily activities. Greater distance means longer time and higher costs for travelling, diseconomy of scale, and higher personnel costs. The RII provides an alternative measure of remoteness that is both intuitive and statistically straightforward and, at an SLA level, closely coincides with the commonly used but complex Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia Plus (ARIA+). Significantly, the RII is free of the service specific and policy sensitive adjustments justified by accessibility that have been introduced into existing measures. � 2008 The Author Journal compilation � 2008 Institute of Australian Geographers.

KW - assessment method

KW - census

KW - population density

KW - population distribution

KW - population estimation

KW - population policy

KW - spatial analysis

KW - Australasia

KW - Australia

KW - Aria

M3 - Article

VL - 46

SP - -

JO - Geographical Research

JF - Geographical Research

SN - 1745-5863

IS - 4

ER -