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6530.0 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2011   
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GLOSSARY

Age pensions

Receives income from age pensions or Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) service pension.

Average weekly expenditure

Value obtained by dividing the estimated weekly expenditure of a group of households by the estimated number of households in the group.

Balance of State

That part of each Australian state or territory not defined as capital city. Balance of state estimates for Northern Territory are regarded as too unreliable to publish separately since they exclude collection districts defined as very remote which account for about 23% of the NT population. All of the Australian Capital Territory is defined as capital city for this publication.

Broad expenditure group

The broadest level of the Household Expenditure Classification used in the 2009-10 publication. A list of the detailed expenditure items making up each broad expenditure group will be included in the 2009-10 User Guide.

Capital city

Refers to Australia's six state capital city Statistical Divisions and the Darwin Statistical Division as defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0). For the Australian Capital Territory the estimates relate predominantly to urban areas, and all of the Australian Capital Territory is defined as capital city for this publication.

Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP)

The international standard classification framework for classifying consumption expenditures on goods and services

Collection district

The Census Collection District (CD) is the smallest geographic area defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no.1216.0).

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

A general measure of price inflation for the household sector in Australia. Specifically, it provides a measure of changes, over time, in the cost of a constant basket of goods and services acquired by the capital city households in Australia.

Couple

See One family households.

Couple family with dependent children

See One family households.

Credit card debt

The amount owing on the respondent's latest credit card account statement (including any government, interest of financial institution charges), irrespective of whether it was paid off by the due date. Includes amounts owing on specialised retail shopping cards as well as general credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and store credit cards but excludes Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

Deciles

Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population.

Dependent children

All persons aged under 15 years; and persons aged 15-24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.

Diary

A notebook in which each person aged 15 years and over who was usually resident in the selected dwelling recorded his or her daily expenditure over two weeks.

Disability and carer payments

Receives income from Carer allowance, Carer payment, Disability Pension Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) or Disability Support Pension.

Disposable income

Gross income less income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge i.e. remaining income after taxes are deducted, which is available to support consumption and/or saving. Income tax, Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are imputed based on each person's income and other characteristics as reported in the survey. Disposable income is sometimes referred to as net income.

Employed

Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview:

  • worked one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (includes employees, employers and own account workers)
  • worked one hour or more, without pay, in a family business or on a family farm or
  • had a job, business or farm but was not at work because of holidays, sickness or other reason.

Employee

An employed person who, for most of his/her working hours:
  • works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary, or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis, or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind or
  • operates their own incorporated business with or without employees.

Employer

A person who operates his or her own unincorporated business or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees.

Equivalised disposable household income

Disposable household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to disposable household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the disposable household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question.

Expenditure

The cost of goods and services acquired during the reference period for private use, whether or not the goods were paid for or consumed. Expenditure is net of refunds. For example, payments for health services are net of any refunds received or expected to be received. Expenditure is classified according to the Household Expenditure Classification which contains over 600 detailed items.

Family

Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who usually live in the same household. A separate family is formed for each married couple, or for each set of parent-child relationships where only one parent is present.

Family composition of household

Classifies households into three broad groupings based on the number of families present (one family, multiple family and non-family). One family households are further disaggregated according to the type of family (such as couple family or one parent family) and according to whether or not dependent children are present. Non-family households are disaggregated into lone person households and group households.

Family support payments

Receives income from Baby Bonus, Family Tax Benefits or Parenting Payments.

Financial stress

A range of items which provide a subjective measure of the household's economic well-being. One person in each household was asked to provide assessments of the current household's circumstances. This person was randomly chosen from the reference person and spouse. Items include management of household income, present standard of living compared with two years ago, ability to raise emergency money, and a range of cash flow problems. For further information see section 1.13 'Deprivation and financial stress indicators' in the 2009-10 User Guide.

Full-time student

A person 15 years or over who is classified as a full-time student by the institution they attend, or considers himself/herself to be a full-time student. Full-time study does not preclude employment.

Government pensions and allowances

Income support payments from government to persons under social security and related government programs. Included are pensions and allowances received by aged, disabled, unemployed and sick persons, families and children, veterans or their survivors, and study allowances for students. All overseas pensions and benefits are included here, although some may not be paid by overseas governments. Family Tax Benefit, Baby Bonus and Child Disability Assistance Payment paid to recipients of Carer Allowance are also included in government pensions and allowances.

Gross imputed rent

The estimated market rent that a dwelling would attract if it were to be commercially rented.

Gross income

Income from all sources, whether monetary or in kind, before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted.

Group household

See Non-family household.

Household

A person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same private dwelling.

Household Expenditure Classification (HEC)

The expenditure classification used in the Household Expenditure Survey. In the 2009-10 survey it consists of over 600 items at the most detailed level. At the broadest level it consists of 17 broad expenditure groups. All broad groups except other capital housing costs are presented in this publication. A copy of the classification will be included in the 2009-10 User Guide.

Income

Income consists of all current receipts, whether monetary or in kind, that are received by the household or by individual members of the household, and which are available for, or intended to support, current consumption.

Income includes receipts from:
  • wages and salaries and other receipts from employment (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of salary sacrificed and/or salary package arrangements
  • profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships)
  • net investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties)
  • government pensions and allowances
  • private transfers (e.g. superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and financial support received from family members not living in the same household).

Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted. Other measures of income are Disposable income and Equivalised disposable household income.

Note that child support and other transfers from other households are not deducted from the incomes of the households making the transfers.

Labour force status

Classifies all persons aged 15 years and over according to whether they were employed, unemployed or not in the labour force.

Landlord type

For renters, the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made. Renters are classified to one of the following categories:
  • state/territory housing authority - where the household pays rent to a state or territory housing authority or trust
  • private landlords - where the household pays rent to a real estate agent or to another person not in the same household
  • person in the same household - where the unit pays rent to a person who resides in the same household
  • other - where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.

Lone person household

See Non-family household.

Main source of income

That source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the main source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the main source may account for less than 50% of gross income.

Mean income

The total income received by a group of units divided by the number of units in the group.

Median income

That level of income which divides the units in a group into two equal parts, one half having incomes above the median and the other half having incomes below the median.

Medicare levy

Medicare is Australia's universal health care system. The Medicare levy is a specific tax, based on individual income, intended to assist in the funding of this system.

Medicare levy surcharge

The Medicare levy surcharge is a levy or an additional tax, on Australian taxpayers who do not have an appropriate level of private hospital insurance and who are earning more than the specified income threshold.

Multiple family household

A household containing two or more families. Unrelated individuals may also be present.

Negative expenditure

Expenditure may be negative if a household's receipts for a good or service (e.g. refunds, trade-ins, sales or successful insurance claims), over a specific period, exceeds the cost of acquisitions. For example, if a household sold a car in the previous 12 months and did not buy a replacement car or they bought a less expensive car, this household would report negative expenditure on cars.

Negative income

Income may be negative when a loss accrues to a household as an owner or partner in unincorporated businesses, rental properties or other investment income. Losses occur when operating expenses and depreciation are greater than gross receipts.

Negative net worth

Net worth may be negative when household liabilities exceed household assets.

Net imputed rent

Gross imputed rent less housing costs. Net imputed rent is an estimate of the value for the flow of household consumption services conferred by home ownership or by households paying subsidised rent or occupying their dwelling rent free. Housing costs for the purpose of calculating net imputed rent for owner- comprise:
  • rates payments (general and water)
  • body corporate fees
  • the interest component of repayments of loans that were obtained for the purposes of purchasing or building
  • rent payments
  • house insurance costs
  • repair and maintenance costs.

Net worth

Net worth is the value of a household's assets less the value of its liabilities. Net worth may be negative when household liabilities exceed household assets.

Non-dependent children

Persons aged 15 years and over who:
  • do not have a spouse or offspring of their own in the household
  • have a parent in the household
  • are not full-time students aged 15-24 years.

Non-family household

A household that consists of unrelated persons only. Non-family households are classified to one of the following categories:
  • group household - a household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households
  • lone person household - a household consisting of a person living alone.

Not in the labour force

Persons not in the categories employed or unemployed as defined.

One family households

One family households are classified to one of the following categories:
  • couple only - two persons in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household
  • couple family with dependent children - a household consisting of a couple with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals
  • one parent family with dependent children - a household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals
  • other one family households - a household comprising:
      • one couple with their non-dependent children only
      • one couple, with or without non-dependent children, plus other relatives
      • one couple, with or without non-dependent children or other relatives, plus unrelated individuals
      • a lone parent with his/her non-dependent children, with or without other relatives and unrelated individuals
      • two or more related individuals where the relationship is not a couple relationship or a parent-child relationship (e.g. two brothers).

One parent family with dependent children

See One family households.

Other income

Income other than wages and salaries, own unincorporated business income and government pensions and allowances. This includes income received as a result of ownership of financial assets (interest, dividends), and of non-financial assets (rent, royalties) and other current receipts from sources such as superannuation, child support, workers' compensation and scholarships. Income from rent is net of operating expenses and depreciation and may be negative when these are greater than gross receipts.

Other landlord type

Where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.

Other one family households

See One family households.

Other payments

Receives income from other government pensions and allowances. These include overseas pensions and benefits, partner allowance, sickness allowance, special benefit, war widow pension (DVA), widow allowance, wife pensions, seniors supplement and other government pensions and allowances.

Other tenure type

A household which is not an owner (with or without a mortgage), or a renter. Includes rent free.

Own account worker

A person who operates his or her own unincorporated business or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees.

Own unincorporated business income

The profit/loss that accrues to persons as owners of, or partners in, unincorporated businesses. Profit/loss consists of the value of gross output of the business after the deduction of operating expenses (including depreciation). Losses occur when operating expenses are greater than gross receipts and are treated as negative income.

Owner (of dwelling)

A household in which at least one member owns the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Owners are divided into two categories - owners without a mortgage and owners with a mortgage. If there is any outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the household is an owner with a mortgage. If there is no mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the household is an owner without a mortgage.

Preschool

Educational and developmental programs for children in the year (or in some jurisdictions, two years) before they begin full-time primary education.

Private income

Current receipts from private organisations, including wages and salaries, income from own business, superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, interest, dividends, royalties, income from rental properties, scholarships and child support.

Quintiles

Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into five equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population.

Reference person

The reference person for each household is chosen by applying, to all household members aged 15 years and over, the selection criteria below, in the order listed, until a single appropriate reference person is identified:
  • the person with the highest tenure when ranked as follows: owner without a mortgage, owner with a mortgage, renter, other tenure
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, with dependent children
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, without dependent children
  • a lone parent with dependent children
  • the person with the highest income
  • the eldest person.

Relative standard error (RSE)

The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate for which it was calculated. It is a measure which is independent of both the size of the sample, and the unit of measurement and as a result, can be used to compare the reliability of different estimates. The smaller an estimate's RSE, the more likely it is that the estimate is a good proxy for that which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. For further information see Appendix 2.

Renter

A household which pays rent to reside in the dwelling. See further classification by Landlord type.

Salary packaging

An arrangement for the employer to remunerate the employee with a combination of cash wages and salaries and one or more non-cash benefits, to the value of the employee's total remuneration.

Salary sacrifice

An arrangement under which an employee agrees contractually to forgo part of the remuneration, which the employee would otherwise receive as wages and salaries, in return for the employer or someone associated with the employer providing benefits of a similar value.

Selected dwelling

The private dwelling selected in the sample for the survey.

Significant person

Significant persons are defined as follows:
  • all members of lone person or couple only households
  • all parents in a couple with children household or a single parent household
  • the person aged 15 years or over in a group household where one person is aged 15 years or over and the other members of the household are less than 15 years old
  • 50% of the persons aged 15 years and over in all other households.

Standard error

A measure of the likely difference between estimates obtained in a sample survey and estimates which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. The magnitude of the standard error associated with any survey is a function of sample design, sample size and population variability. For further information see Appendix 2.

Statistical Division (SD)

The largest spatial units within each state/territory in the main structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).

Tenure type

The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to whether the household owns the dwelling outright, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling.

Unemployed

Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the week before the interview and had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks before the interview and:
  • were available for work in the week before the interview, or
  • were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the interview and would have started in the week before the interview if the job had been available then.

Unemployment and study payments

Receives income from Austudy/ABSTUDY, Newstart allowance or Youth allowance.

Unincorporated business

A business in which the owner(s) and the business are the same legal entity, so that, for example, the owner(s) are personally liable for any business debts that are incurred.

Wages and salaries

An employee's total remuneration, whether monetary or in kind, received as a return to labour from an employer or from a person's own incorporated business. It comprises wages and salaries, bonuses, amounts salary sacrificed, non-cash benefits such as the use of motor vehicles and subsidised housing, and termination payments.

Wealth

See Net worth.


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