Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with CURFs can be found on the About CURF Microdata page.
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.
Microdata from the Family Characteristics Survey is available as an Expanded CURF. The microdata contains information about household and family composition, along with demographic and labour force characteristics of persons within households and families. A particular focus of the collection is families with children aged 0-17 years. For those families, additional information is collected about family structures, the social marital status of parents, and contact arrangements for children with a natural parent living elsewhere. In the 2009-10 survey, information was also collected about children's contact with their grandparents, and about child support arrangements for children with a natural parent living elsewhere .
The level of detail provided for selected data items are available within the data item lists. The data item list for the Expanded CURF can be found by clicking on the Downloads tab of this product.
The most recent Family Characteristics Survey was conducted throughout Australia from July 2009 to June 2010. The ABS has been conducting similar surveys since 1982, with surveys completed in 1992, 1997, 2003, and 2006-07.
The microdata generally contains finer levels of detail of data items than what is otherwise published in other formats, for example, in Family Characteristics, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4420.0). For more information on the level of detail provided, see the associated data item listings.
Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the microdata are taken in such a way as to maximise 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 microdata is available through the following links:
Results from the previous household surveys on this topic were published in Family Characteristics, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4442.0). Data from the first two surveys (1982 and 1992) can be obtained by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
Family Surveys were conducted by the ABS in 1982 and 1992, and the Family Characteristics Survey (FCS) was previously conducted in 1997, 2003 and 2006-07. The Family Surveys, and to a lesser extent the 1997 FCS, differed from the 2003 and 2006-07 FCS in some areas. Nevertheless, these differences do not preclude useful comparisons between them for certain data items. Some data from the 1997, 2003 and 2006-07 surveys have been included in this publication to show changes over time.
The Explanatory Notes section of Family Characteristics, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4442.0) provides more detailed information on the differences between the ABS Families surveys over time.
The information within this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It contains information including Survey methodology, File structure, Using the CURF, Conditions of use and the data item lists.
Family Characteristics, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4420.0) includes information on the survey objectives, survey methods and design, survey content, data quality and interpretation, output data items, information about the availability of results and comparability with previous surveys.
Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wishing to access the microdata should read the How to Apply for Microdata web page, before applying for access through MiCRO. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata web pages.
A full list of available microdata can be viewed via the List of expected and available Microdata. More detail regarding types and modes of access to CURFs can be found on the CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail web page.
The Expanded CURF can be accessed through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL).
Any questions regarding access to microdata can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 6252 7714.