4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: User Guide, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2016   
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The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) was conducted from September 2014 to June 2015 with a sample of 11,178 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in private dwellings across Australia. The 2014–15 NATSISS is a multidimensional social survey which provides broad information across key areas of social concern for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, nationally, by state and territory and remoteness area.

This publication provides information on the survey design, content, data processing, interpretation of results and data availability. A summary of the findings from the survey are presented in the publication, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4714.0).

For people who wish to undertake more detailed analyses of the survey data, microdata has been released in the form of a TableBuilder and an Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF). More information on the microdata is included in Microdata: National Aboriginal and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Australia, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4720.0.55.002).

Survey content

The 2014–15 NATSISS is the fourth national social survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Building on the 2008 and 2002 NATSISS, and the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey (NATSIS), the latest survey collected some information for the first time, including:

  • patient experience;
  • provision of care for people with disability, a long term health condition or old age;
  • adequate fruit and vegetable intake;
  • experiences of homelessness;
  • overall life satisfaction; and
  • perceptions of community leadership and change.

Detailed information on the survey content is provided in a series of topic-based chapters, which include:
  • Population characteristics;
  • Language and culture;
  • Community strength and social support;
  • Social contact, networks and child sports;
  • Child events and care;
  • Stressors;
  • Education;
  • Work;
  • Health;
  • Health risk factors, nutrition and sleep;
  • Social and emotional wellbeing;
  • Income and finances;
  • Housing and mobility;
  • Transport;
  • Information technology; and
  • Safety, law and justice.

These chapters provide information on the survey data items and the availability of data, which is generally based on the following Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations:
  • persons aged 15 years and over;
  • children aged 4–14 years; and
  • infants aged 0–3 years.

Information on the comparability of the 2014–15 and 2008 surveys is provided in the Appendix 1: Data comparability with the 2008 NATSISS, released with the 2014–15 NATSISS summary publication, and on a topic by topic basis, in the Survey content chapters included in this publication.

Survey development

Experts and key stakeholders assisted the ABS with advice on survey content, including the most appropriate topics for collection, associated concepts and definitions. Advice was sought from a range of people and groups, including representatives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak bodies; government departments with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander responsibilities; universities with a background in relevant academic research; and the ABS Advisory Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics.

A significant contribution towards the funding of the 2014–15 NATSISS was provided by the Commonwealth Department of Health. A contribution was also made by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Using this publication

Appropriate use and interpretation of the NATSISS results relies on a knowledge of what information was collected, collection methodology, and how the information was used to produce final estimates.

The aim of this publication is to assist users of the data to better understand both the nature of the survey and its potential and shortcomings in meeting their data needs. This publication should be used in conjunction with the explanatory material included in the summary publication, as well as the survey questionnaire, prompt cards and data item list, which are available via the Downloads tab of the summary publication. TableBuilder and CURF users can access the respective data item lists on the Downloads tab of the NATSISS microdata publication.