6540.0 - Microdata: Household Expenditure, Income and Housing, 2015-16 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/10/2017   
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  • Quality Declaration

QUALITY DECLARATION

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) and Household Expenditure Survey (HES) are released as a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) and as a Detailed File in the DataLab.

Microdata files are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with microdata can be found at:


For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

RELEVANCE

The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) collects detailed information on income, wealth, housing, characteristics of individuals, income units and households from a sample of private dwellings throughout Australia. The Household Expenditure Survey (HES) collects detailed information on household expenditure from residents in private dwellings throughout Australia. The HES is collected jointly with the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) every six years - that is, all households selected for HES also complete the SIH - which collects information about household income, wealth, housing and other characteristics.

Income and wealth data are used by economic and social analysts and policy makers to:
  • understand the distribution of economic resources among private households in Australia;
  • identify households most at risk of experiencing economic hardship; and
  • understand the effects of taxation and welfare payments on people and families.

Housing data are used for:
  • housing affordability studies;
  • analysis of housing conditions and occupancy, including levels of home ownership and housing utilisation; and
  • tracking changes in housing costs by tenure type over time.

HES and the jointly collected SIH data are used by economic and social analysts and policy makers to:
  • understand the distribution of economic resources among private households in Australia;
  • identify the changes occurring in Australians' spending habits;
  • identify households most at risk of experiencing economic hardship;
  • understand the effects of taxation and welfare payments on the cost of living for people and families; and
  • The ABS also uses the HES data in the production of the Consumer Price Index and National Accounts.


TIMELINESS

The SIH is conducted every two years and the HES is jointly conducted every six years. The 2015–16 SIH and HES collected information over the period July 2015 to June 2016.

SIH was last collected as a standalone cycle in 2013-14. SIH and HES were last collected together in 2009-10.

The first results from both SIH and HES 2015-16 were released on 13th September 2017, just over one year from the end of data collection. The next SIH is currently being conducted for the 2017-18 financial year. The next combined SIH and HES will be conducted in the 2021-22 financial year.

ACCURACY

The microdata contains unit record level data from the SIH and HES. Key findings from the surveys are available from:
Users are reminded that the microdata, as with the published estimates, are sample data. Users are advised to:
  • use the sample weights to ensure estimates represent the population correctly;
  • produce and use Relative Standard Errors (RSE's) when interpreting the precision of estimates;
  • take note of the survey scope which covers residents of Private Dwellings in all areas except Very Remote Areas of Australia.

Steps are taken to confidentialise the data made available on the microdata files in a way that maximises the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents selected in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the microdata with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the SIH and HES microdata is available through How The ABS Keeps Your Information Confidential.

COHERENCE

Each cycle of the SIH and HES collects comparable information to allow for analysis of changes over time.

For more information on the changes to SIH and HES over time, please refer to the Historical Information section in the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015–16 (cat. no. 6503.0).

The Basic CURF data item list can be found on the Downloads tab. This data item list includes variable comparisons with previous SIH and HES CURFs, lists of new items, items no longer included, and a list of items which have had minor changes (e.g. changes to data item labels or categories).

Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available through the Responsible Use of ABS Microdata, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003).

INTERPRETABILITY

The information within this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It contains information including survey methodology, file structure, using the CURF and using the DataLab, conditions of use and the data item lists.

Further information can be found in Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2015–16 (cat. no. 6503.0).

ACCESSIBILITY

Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wishing to access SIH and HES microdata should familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.

The SIH and HES 2015-16 microdata can be accessed using a Basic CURF or DataLab.

CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail contains general information on different types of CURF access. A full list of available microdata can be viewed via Expected and available Microdata. The SIH and HES Basic CURF can be accessed on MicrodataDownload. If questions remain please phone microdata access on (02) 6252 7714.