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The Census Sample File was originally known as the Household Sample File (HSF) and first released in 1981. Subsequent sample file releases have occurred every five years in accordance with the Census of Population and Housing. The next CSF release is expected to occur in 2013 based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.
The 1% Basic CSF contains the unit records of a 1 in 100 sample of occupied private dwellings along with the occupants of those dwellings and a 1 in 100 sample of people from Non-private dwellings along with the associated dwelling. The 5% Expanded CSF contains the unit records from a 1 in 20 sample of occupied private dwelling along with the occupants of those dwellings and a 1 in 20 sample of people from non-private dwellings along with the associated dwelling. Users should be aware of the effects of sampling error when extracting estimates from the CSF. For more information on sampling error in the CSF please see Appendix 2 of the Census Technical Manual.
Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the CURF are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents to ABS statistical collections. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the CURF with published statistics.
Users should note that previously the Census Sample File was known as the Household Sample File.
The 2006 Census Sample File Technical Paper is a key source for consultation when using a CURF. It includes survey objectives, methods and design; survey content; data quality and interpretation; output data items; and information about the availability of results; comparability with previous surveys; and the content of the CURF file.
The 2006 Census Dictionary contains definitions of data items used in the CSF and is a key source for data interpretation and availability of data beyond the limits of the sample files.
CURF notes for Accessibility
CURF microdata are not available to the public without special access being granted. All CURF users are required to read and abide by the Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual. Application to access a particular CURF microdata can be completed and submitted for approval by following the steps listed in the How to apply for Microdata Frequently Asked Questions. A full list of available CURFs can be viewed via the Expected and available Microdata.
The Basic CURF can be accessed on CD-ROM, in addition to being accessed through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). The Expanded CURF can only be accessed through RADL and ABSDL.
More detail regarding types and modes of access to CURFs can be found on CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail web page.
If you have any questions regarding access to CURF Microdata please contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or call 02) 6252 7714.
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