2006 Census of Population and Housing - Product Brief

Census Sample File - cat. no. 2037.0

Product Description

The 2006 Census Sample File (CSF) is a comprehensive Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) of Census variables, containing a small random sample of private households and associated persons, and a small random sample of persons in non-private dwellings. The CSF is produced for model testing and statistical analysis. It is designed and produced after consultation with past users of CSFs and other major users of Census data. The structure of the 2006 CSF is expected to be similar to the 2001 Household Sample File (HSF).

Most of the variables available from the 2006 Census are available on the CSF. However, some classifications, such as birthplace, industry, occupation and qualification are collapsed to less detailed levels, in order to protect the confidentiality of personal data.

The CSF contains information relating to persons, families and dwellings. The person record includes age, sex, birthplace, language, income, occupation, qualifications and labour force characteristics. The family record includes family income and family type. The dwelling record covers topics such as dwelling type and structure, number of bedrooms, housing costs and number of motor vehicles. Detailed technical documentation is provided with the CSF.

Information about sampling errors associated with statistics produced from the CSF is contained in technical documentation provided with the file.

Target Audience

The Census Sample File is aimed at advanced users of Census data and is released under strict conditions. Clients are required to sign an undertaking stating that the information will only be used for statistical purposes. Each request is subject to the approval by the Australian Statistician before the CSF can be released.

Clients are able to use this file to specify cross-classified tables for statistical analysis. Clients who used the 2001 HSF included Universities, commercial clients, State Government users, Commonwealth agencies and the Private Sector.

Special arrangements exist between the ABS and Universities Australia, making confidentialised unit record files, such as the CSF, more readily available to Australian universities for research. It is expected that the 2006 CSF will be available through this arrangement.

Geographical Availability

Data will be provided for geographic areas, which are made up of Statistical Regions or groups of Statistical Regions. Statistical Regions are defined in the publication "Statistical Geography: Volume 1 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2006" (ABS cat. no. 1216.0).

Output Format

A 1% Basic Census Sample File is available via CD-ROM, the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and an on-site lab service (ABSDL). Access to the 5% CSF will be restricted to RADL or the ABS ABSDL. The 5% Expanded CSF will contain similar information to the Basic CSF except that some items are shown in more detail. The CSF is available in SAS, SPSS and STATA format.

For further information see the ABS website, 'Access to ABS CURFs'.

Release Dates

1% Basic CSF - 12 September 2008
5% Expanded CSF - 13 May 2009


The price of the Basic and Expanded CURF is $1,430 (including GST) each, regardless of the form of access (RADL, ABSDL or CD-ROM).

A bundled price of $2,140 (including GST) is available where clients request access to both the Basic and Expanded CURFs in one single application, regardless of the different release times.