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2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Jul 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/08/2003   
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Household Sample File - the statistical researchers' best friend

The 2001 Census Household Sample File (HSF) is a comprehensive Confidential Unit Record File (CURF) of census characteristics, containing a one per cent random sample of private households and associated persons, and a one per cent random sample of persons in non-private dwellings. The HSF is produced for model testing and statistical analysis. It is designed and produced after consultation with past users of Household Sample Files and other major users of census data. The structure of the CURF is similar to the 1996 HSF.

Most of the classificatory details available from the 2001 Census are available on the HSF. However, some fields, such as birthplace, industry, occupation and qualification are collapsed to less detailed levels, in order to meet the ABS' confidentiality requirements.

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

Two versions of the CURF are available: A Basic CURF available on CD-ROM or accessed through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL), and an Expanded CURF available through the RADL only.

The RADL is an on-line database query system, under which microdata are held on a server at the ABS, to which users can submit programs to interrogate, analyse, model, etc. the data, and can access the results. For further information about this facility see the ABS web site, Access to ABS CURFs.

The RADL CURF contains similar information to the CD-ROM CURF, except some items are shown in more detail. Both the Basic CD-ROM and Expanded RADL versions of the CURF are available in SAS and SPSS.


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