About the Modified Monash Model
The Modified Monash Model (MMM) is how we define whether a location is metropolitan, rural, remote or very remote.
The model measures remoteness and population size on a scale of Modified Monash (MM) categories MM 1 to MM 7. MM 1 is a major city and MM 7 is very remote.
Understanding the MMM classifications helps us distribute the health workforce better in rural and remote areas.
MMM classifications are based on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Remoteness Areas (ASGS-RA) framework.
Our analysts review and update the MMM after each Census. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducts the national Census every 5 years.
An update of the MMM classification system with the latest census data is in progress.
How we use it
The MMM tells us about an area according to geographical remoteness and town size.
Areas classified MM 2 to MM 7 are considered regional, rural or remote. People living in these areas can find it harder to get medical help and accessing doctors can take longer and cost more.
The Distribution Priority Area classification uses MMM boundaries.
Some government programs use the MMM to define their eligibility requirements. There are a broad range of programs to encourage junior doctors, GP registrars and qualified GPs to train and work in rural communities.
How to find current areas under the MMM
You can find 2015 and 2019 MMM classifications on the Health Workforce Locator.
Modified Monash category
Metropolitan areas: Major cities accounting for 70% of Australia’s population.
All areas categorised ASGS-RA1.
Regional centres: Areas categorised ASGS-RA 2 and ASGS-RA 3 that are in, or within 20km road distance, of a town with a population greater than 50,000.
Large rural towns: Areas categorised ASGS-RA 2 and ASGS-RA 3 that are not in MM 2 and are in, or within 15km road distance, of a town with a population between 15,000 and 50,000.
Medium rural towns: Areas categorised ASGS-RA 2 and ASGS-RA 3 that are not in MM 2 or MM 3 and are in, or within 10km road distance, of a town with a population between 5,000 and 15,000.
Small rural towns: All other areas in ASGS-RA 2 and 3.
Remote communities: All areas categorised ASGS-RA 4 and islands that are separated from the mainland in the ABS geography and are less than 5km offshore.
Islands that have an MM 5 classification with a population of less than 1,000 without bridges to the mainland (2019 Modified Monash Model classification only).
Very remote communities: All other areas that are categorised ASGS-RA 5 and populated islands separated from the mainland in the ABS geography that are more than 5km offshore.