About CURF Microdata

Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are microdata files containing individual responses. These files have been treated to protect privacy and confidentiality using a range of statistical techniques. Some datasets provide access to ABS survey or census results while other datasets contain administrative data collected by other organisations. There are two types of CURFs:

Basic CURFs
The least detailed unit record data. Users can access basic CURF data in their own environment. Individual data items in basic CURFs are likely to be reported at a broader level than that offered in other ABS microdata products.

Expanded CURFs
Moderately detailed unit record data. Due to the protected environments in which expanded CURFs are accessed, users are able to access a finer levels of detail than that offered on a basic CURF. For example, where a basic CURFs might report an age classification in five-yearly increments, an expanded file may include data for each year. Access to expanded CURFs is provided in the secure Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the DataLab environments. To use these systems, users must be experienced in one of the analytical languages available.

Alternatively, the ABS may be able to produce customised CURFs to serve specific approved statistical purposes for a particular customer. The cost to produce a customised CURF is fully cost recovered from the customer. Customised CURFs may include data items and levels of detail not otherwise disseminated, or may be configured in other ways to respond to particular user needs. Production of Customised CURFs is dependent on availability of ABS resources. If you are interested in requesting the production of a Customised CURF email microdata.access@abs.gov.au.


There are a wide range of topics including health, education, labour force, migrants, crime, business, disabilities, ageing and carers. Available microdata contains information on which product formats are available as well as links to supporting materials such as data item lists. Not all CURFs are available in both basic and expanded formats.


To apply for access to CURF microdata, see How to apply. If you already have a Registration Centre account you can log in to view the list of products your organisation has subscribed to and to update your profile information.

Basic CURFs
If your organisation has subscribed to basic CURFs that you would like to access, your organisation's Contact Officer can provide you with access to the data.

Expanded CURFs
If your organisation has subscribed to expanded CURFs that you would like to access, contact microdata.access@abs.gov.au to arrange your access. If you already have a RADL account you can log in via Remote Access Data Laboratory to analyse expanded CURFs.


Microdata prices provides information about subscribing to access microdata. Clients in universities participating in the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement are entitled to access microdata and TableBuilder products at no charge as Universities Australia has paid on their behalf.


To see how using CURF microdata files compares to other types of data, see Access Modes and Levels of Detail.

The following resources provide further information for microdata users:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Responsible Use of ABS Microdata User Guide
Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) User Guide

For further information on microdata confidentiality see:
How the ABS keeps your information confidential
Confidentiality Information Series from the National Statistical Service

For support when accessing microdata products or system issues email microdata.access@abs.gov.au or call 02 6252 7714. The ABS privacy policy outlines how the ABS handles any personal information that you provide to us.