Current Household Surveys

Current Household Surveys

MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY

HEALTH LITERACY SURVEY

NATIONAL ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HEALTH SURVEY

SURVEY OF DISABILITY, AGEING AND CARERS

SURVEY OF INCOME AND HOUSING


MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY (MPS)

Background
The Monthly Population Survey (MPS) has been carried out since 1960 to provide information about the Australian population and workforce on a regular basis. The nation's employment and unemployment figures are produced from this survey.

Your household is one of approximately 30,000 around Australia selected by the ABS to take part in the survey each month. It is an official survey conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

The results from the MPS are used by Commonwealth and state government, industry business, trade unions and academics to make important decisions about employment, industry support and education.

What details are required?

The main component of the MPS is the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In the LFS, employed people will be asked some questions on topics such as hours worked, their occupation and the type of industry in which they work. People looking for work will be asked questions on topics such as steps taken to look for work and the length of time they have been looking for work. Retired people and people who are neither working nor looking for work will be asked some questions to clarify their current situation and future intentions.

In some months you might be asked additional questions on various topics including education, conditions of employment or child care arrangements.

A small portion of respondents will be asked about qualifications and employment outcomes, barriers and incentives to labour force participation, retirement and retirement intentions, household use of information technology, patient experience, crime and safety and household income.

The questions can usually be answered for all of your household members in a few minutes and the answers can be provided by any adult member of the household. The interview is conducted using a notebook computer

How long will I be in the survey?

You will be asked to complete our survey once every month for eight months. You have the option to register and complete the survey online for the eight months you have been selected. If you decide not register online an ABS interviewer (with an official identification card) will visit your home for the first interview. In the following months, where possible, interviews will be conducted by telephone.

Why do I have to do it for eight months?

One of the main reasons for the MPS is to measure changes in your households situation over time. To reduce burden on your household and to provide reliable information on the current status of the labour force, households are replaced every eight months. Seven-eights of the month-to-month sample is the same as the previous month.

Why is it important that all those selected take part in the survey?

The sample is designed to provide a balanced representation of all households in Australia so that the estimates made from the data reflect, as closely as possible, all households. If some households do not participate, this may result in one type of household being represented more often than another type, which may result in biases in the data.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?

Arrangements can be made for the interview to be conducted by an ABS Interviewer fluent in the language of the householder or using an interpreter.

Will respondents be paid for their time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?

The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected as it can only be accessed by the interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.

Using notebook computers helps to minimise the number of mistakes that can be made when information is being collected or processed. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. Additionally, notebook computers make it easier for interviewers to conduct the interview smoothly and speed up the interview process.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions included in this survey are being asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information being requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Do householders have to give ABS interviewers right of entry to their home?

No. Interviewers can enter the household only by invitation from the householder; however, it would be helpful if a suitable chair and table was made available (inside or outside the house) as the interviewer will be using a notebook computer to collect the information.

Will the information provided be confidential?

The ABS privacy policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS privacy policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?

Full survey results are published monthly on the ABS website in Labour Force, Australia (cat.no.6202.0).


HEALTH LITERACY SURVEY

I've been contacted about something called the Health Literacy Survey (HLS). Why?

If you are reading this, it's likely you have been contacted by someone from the ABS via phone and asked to participate in a follow up survey to the National Health Survey (NHS). This means that you would have participated in the NHS 17-18 and agreed to be contacted for a follow up survey. This is a once off survey that provides additional information to the NHS. The HLS aims to measure health literacy, which is the way people find, understand and use information about health.

The results may be used by government departments, researchers, business or other organisations concerned with health literacy. This data will provide information to assist in developing health policies and programs.

How will you complete the survey?

An ABS interviewer will contact you by phone, they will identify themselves as from the ABS and will make sure they are speaking with the right person (i.e. the person who agreed to be contacted for a follow up survey when they participated in the NHS). The survey will then be completed on the phone at that time. If you are unable to complete it at that time, it can be completed via phone at an alternative time. It will only take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

What information are you going to ask about?

The HLS asks questions about how you find, understand and use health information, and how you manage your health.

I don't want to participate, can you choose another person?

We are unable to choose another person to participate in the HLS. This is because information from the HLS is only useful when used in conjunction with data from the NHS, so participants must have also participated in the NHS.

Will I be paid for my time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing co-operation of households.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions in the survey are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. However, participation in the HLS, unlike other ABS surveys, is voluntary. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

How will you keep my information safe, secure, and confidential?

The ABS takes the security of the information you provide to us very seriously.

All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Security in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years jail, a $21,600 fine, or both.

The ABS complies with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe the ABS has breached these principles, you can find information on how to lodge a complaint here. This link also provides more detail on the ABS's own Privacy Policy.

Where can I access the HLS publication?

The results of the HLS will be published on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au) in late 2018/early 2019.NATIONAL ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HEALTH SURVEY

I've been chosen to be in something called the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS). Why?

This survey is run to provide the community with vital information for measuring the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

If your household has been selected to be in this survey, it means that the people in your household will represent households that are similar to yours. This is so that statistics about larger groups in the community can be produced. The ABS has developed the NATSIHS in close consultation with a range of stakeholders, including commonwealth and state/territory governments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, academics and researchers. The results from the survey are used extensively by government agencies, researchers, clinicians and other health professionals in your community to help plan for the future and support research into ways to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples live healthier and longer lives.

Why was my household selected?

From July 2018 to March 2019, about 6,500 households will be randomly selected to be included in the NATSIHS. Every household in Australia has the same chance of being selected in the survey.

If your household has been selected to be in this survey, it means that the people in your household will represent households that are similar to yours. This is so that statistics about larger groups in the community can be produced.

How will you complete the survey?

An interviewer will come to your home. They will check your address, identify themselves as an ABS interviewer, and show you their official ABS photo identification. They will conduct the interview using a laptop computer. It would be appreciated if you could provide a table and chair to the interviewer if possible.

What information are you going to ask about?

The NATSIHS collects a range of information to give a ‘snapshot’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples health, including the type of health problems people have and their lifestyle patterns.

The NATSIHS includes questions about:
  • General health and wellbeing (including disability status)
  • Health risk status (physical activity, smoking, dietary behaviour, alcohol consumption)
  • Diagnosed conditions (focusing on the National Health Priority Areas of asthma, cancer, cardiovascular and circulatory conditions, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and high sugar levels, kidney disease, as well as mental health conditions)
  • Cultural identification
  • Experience of Discrimination
  • Social and emotional wellbeing
  • Physical measures (blood pressure, weight, height and waist size). This part of the survey is voluntary.
  • Voluntary hearing test.

In addition, detailed demographic and socio-demographic data (age, education, employment, income and housing) are collected to enable an assessment to be made of the health and related needs of groups such as the elderly, migrants and low income families.

Adults aged 18 years and over who are selected, may also be asked to volunteer follow-up contact details for the purpose of assisting the ABS with future health related information collections.

Which people in the Household will be required to participate?

Up to two adult members of each selected household (aged 18 years and over) will be chosen at random to participate. Interviewers will conduct a personal interview with this person which will cover a range of topics about the individual's health and wellbeing.

Up to two child members of each selected household (aged 0 to 17 years) will also be chosen at random, where applicable. If the selected child is 0-14 years, the interview is conducted by proxy with a nominated adult. If the selected child is 15-17 years, a personal interview can be conducted if the parent or guardian consents, otherwise a proxy interview will be conducted.

What happens if there are people in the household who don't speak English?

An ABS interviewer who speaks the language of the householder will conduct the interview if possible. Alternatively, arrangements can be made to organise an interpreter to conduct the interview. Please call 1800 271 346 (free call, excluding mobile phones) so that these arrangements can be made.

Will I be paid for my time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing co-operation of households.

I don't want to participate. Can you choose another household?

It is very important to make sure that every household in Australia has an equal chance of being selected for this survey. This means that when all the selected houses are combined, the survey will resemble the whole community which they represent. Once your household has been selected, another household cannot be substituted in its place, as other households have already had their chance of being selected, and this could mean that some parts of the community are under or over represented.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions in the survey are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

How will you keep my information safe, secure, and confidential?

The ABS takes the security of the information you provide to us very seriously.

The survey information is collected using a notebook computer and then securely transferred to the ABS office environment. The computer makes the survey quicker and easier to do, and means you only need to answer the questions that relate to you and your household.

All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Secrecy in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years jail, a $21,600 fine, or both.

The ABS complies with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe the ABS has breached these principles, you can find information on how to lodge a complaint here. This link also provides more detail on the ABS's own Privacy Policy.

How can I find the results from the NATSIHS?

The results from NATSIHS 2018/19 will be available in late 2019.

Results from the previous NATSIHS can be found on the ABS website:
4727.0.55.006 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012–13

The ABS has also produced some videos related to the upcoming NATSIHS:
NATSIHS video
Brisbane Lions Charlie Cameron video
Carlton FC Sam Petrevski-Seton video
Fremantle FC Gemma Houghton video
Fremantle FC Michael Walters video
Shellie Morris video

Where can I get more information?

For more information about participating in ABS surveys, see the Household Survey Participant Information FAQ's
SURVEY OF DISABILITY, AGEING AND CARERS

Background

The 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) is an important social survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and is being enumerated from July 2018 to March 2019. The 2018 SDAC will be the ninth in the series, which were previously conducted in 1981, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2015. The SDAC is designed to collect information about people with a disability, older people (those aged 65 years and over) and people who provide assistance to older people and people with disabilities (carers). Information that is collected will assist government and community agencies to plan appropriate types and numbers of services each year, and plan for future needs. Survey data is also used by groups advocating to government on behalf of people with disabilities, carers and aged persons.

The survey will approach over 21,000 households selected at random across Australia. Selected households will receive an explanatory letter informing them of their selection in the survey together with a brochure which outlines the survey and their role in it. Households will be offered the opportunity to register for the survey to help coordinate a convenient time for the interview. If a household does not register, a fully trained ABS interviewer will contact the occupants, explain the purpose of the survey, answer any questions they might have and make an appointment for the survey interview.

What information is collected?

In addition to collecting general information including age, birthplace, cultural background, employment, education and income, the survey will collect information about:

People with disabilities

- how their disability affects their lives
- what support they need and receive
- who provides the support – family/friends, government, other support organisations.

Older people (aged 65 and over)

- how growing older may restrict activity and community participation what support they need and receive

People who provide support and assistance to an older person or a person with a disability

- their experience as carers
- how their caring role effects them

People under 65 who are not carers and do not have a disability

- basic demographic information

How was the content of the survey determined?

The content of the survey was developed in consultation with a wide range of users of the survey data, including federal and state government agencies, non-government service providers and researchers. Topics included in the survey are those identified as being of the highest priority to address policy, planning and research questions. The range and type of information obtained from the survey are generally not available from other sources.

How will the ABS contact me?

A Survey Guide will be sent to each selected household. The Guide will provide information about the survey and explain how you can register your contact details. An interviewer will then contact you to arrange a suitable time to conduct a face to face survey.

If you do not register your details by the due date in the letter, an interviewer will visit you to arrange a suitable time to conduct the survey.

An ABS interviewer can be identified by their official ABS photo identification card.

How are people selected for inclusion in the survey?

Dwellings are selected at random across Australia (excluding very remote areas) so that within each State and Territory each household has a known chance of selection.

Each selected dwelling represents a number of others in that area, in that State and in Australia. The information collected from each selected household is used to represent a number of others which are like them in terms of their household composition, location, age, employment characteristics, lifestyle and health. The co-operation of all those selected is important to ensure all households/persons are properly represented in the survey and so are properly reflected in the survey results.

This survey doesn’t apply to us, so why can’t you skip our house?

It is very important to make sure that every household in Australia has an equal chance of being selected for this survey. This means that when all the selected houses are combined, the survey will resemble the whole community which they represent. Once your household has been selected, another household cannot be substituted in its place, as other households already had their chance of being selected, and this could mean that some parts of the community are under or over represented.

In order to determine the proportion of Australians who are in the target groups (people with disabilities, older people aged 65 years and over, and carers) and compare their overall situations with people who are not, it is important that everyone participates.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions in the survey are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Will I be paid for my time?

No. As with all other surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we rely on the cooperation of households.

What happens if there are people in the household who don't speak English?

An ABS interviewer who speaks the language of the household may contact the household. Alternatively, arrangements can be made to organise an interpreter to conduct the interview.

Will the information provided be confidential?

The ABS takes the security of the information you provide to us very seriously.

The survey information is collected using a notebook computer and then securely transferred to the ABS office environment. The computer makes the survey quicker and easier to do, and means you only need to answer the questions that relate to you and your household.

All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Secrecy in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years jail, a $21,600 fine, or both.

The ABS complies with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe the ABS has breached these principles, you can find information on how to lodge a complaint here. This link also provides more detail on the ABS's own Privacy Policy.

What are some examples of the ways in which the survey information is used?

The results of the survey are used to research new policy ideas, plan support services and lobby for changes to existing systems. For example, Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers results were used in the initial design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the largest change in the way disability support services are managed in Australia's history. The results also tell us the economic value of the work done by informal carers, allow us to investigate health inequalities between people with and without disabilities and help us understand the support needs of people with disabilities and the aged.

Some examples of the ways in which the survey information is used include;

Autism in Australia
Economic participation of older Australians (aged 65 years and over) with and without disability
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Disability
Australians living with communication disability
Psychosocial disability

Where can I get more information?

If you want further information about this survey, please call 1800 655 107 (free call, excluding mobile phones).

For more information about participating in ABS surveys, see the Household Survey Participant Information FAQ's.


SURVEY OF INCOME AND HOUSING

I've been chosen to be in something called the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). Why?

If you are reading this it's likely to be because you have found a letter or pamphlet in your mailbox telling you that your household has been selected to participate in the Survey of Income and Housing. This survey is run every two years to provide Australians with vital information for understanding the housing, income and wealth circumstances of Australians.

The results from this survey are used extensively by government agencies, researchers, and non-government agencies (such as the Australian Council of Social Service) in your community to help plan for the future and support research into the economic wellbeing of all Australians.

Why was my household selected?
About 20,000 households will be randomly selected to be included in the Survey of Income and Housing. This means that every household in Australia has the same chance of being selected in the survey. If your household has been selected to be in this survey, it means that the people in your household will represent households that are similar to yours. This is so that statistics about larger groups in the community can be produced.


Who in the household will be required to participate?
The first part of the survey will ask a household representative who knows the most about your household’s finances, to answer questions about living arrangements, mortgage or rent costs, and rates payments.

The rest of the survey will ask each person in your household aged 15 years and older to answer questions about their education, employment, income and other circumstances.

How will the ABS contact me?
Each selected household will receive a Survey Guide in the mail which will give an overview of the Survey of Income and Housing and how we collect the information for the survey. A registration letter will arrive in the mail shortly after and this will provide information on how you can create an ABS Survey Account, and access the survey online. Alternatively you can contact the ABS if you prefer for the survey to be conducted by an interviewer at your house.

If you forget to complete the survey online, we will send a reminder letter encouraging you to complete the survey as soon as possible. If you don’t complete the survey by the due date on the letter, an interviewer may visit your house or call to arrange a suitable time to conduct the survey.

How can I complete my survey?
Completing the survey online through an ABS Survey Account means that your household can complete the survey at a time and place that is convenient for you.

If you choose to complete this survey online, your household representative, who knows the most about the household’s finances, will create one online ABS Survey Account for everyone in your household to use. The household representative will then access the survey online and answer the first part of the survey about the household. Each person in your household aged 15 years and older will then be asked to answer questions about their education, employment, income and other circumstances.

What if I cannot do this survey online?
If you can’t get online to access the survey please call us on 1800 462 609 to discuss other ways to participate. If you don’t call us, an interviewer will visit your address to make a time to complete the survey. The interviewer will identify themselves as an ABS interviewer, confirm your address, and show you their official ABS photo identification. They will then complete the survey with you using a laptop. It would be appreciated if you could provide a table and chair to the interviewer if possible.

What are you going to ask about?
The SIH collects a range of information about the economic wellbeing of Australian households, covering income, wealth, housing conditions and housing costs.

The SIH includes questions about:
- Tenure type (owning, buying or renting your home)
- How adequate the household income is in comparison to living costs
- Housing costs and condition (e.g. need for repairs)
- The wealth (e.g. cars, property or other assets) and financial security of the household

In addition, detailed demographic and socio-demographic data (age, country of birth, education, employment, income and housing) are collected to enable analysis of the economic wellbeing of key groups of interest such as the elderly, government payment recipients and low income families.


What happens if there are people in the household who don't speak English?
Please call 1800 462 609 for more information on ways to complete the survey.

Will I be paid for my time?
No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing co-operation of households.

I don't want to participate. Can you choose another household?
It is very important to make sure that every household in Australia has an equal chance of being selected for this survey. This means that when all the selected houses are combined, the survey will resemble the whole community which they represent. Once your household has been selected, another household cannot be substituted in its place, as other households have already had their chance of being selected, and this could mean that some parts of the community are under or over represented.

The October 2018 Survey of Income and Housing is not compulsory. However important decisions, such as government funding in your local area, depend on your participation. Your answers to the survey will help shape your community.

How will you keep my information safe, secure, and confidential?
The ABS takes the security of the information you provide to us very seriously. The questions included in this survey are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, the ABS is required to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to us and no information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Security, in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years jail, a $21,600 fine, or both.

The ABS complies with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe the ABS has breached these principles, you can find information on how to lodge a complaint here. This link also provides more detail on the ABS's own Privacy Policy.

Can you show me some examples of the ways in which the survey information is used?
Here are some examples of the ways in which the ABS publishes findings from the survey:
Household Income and Wealth: Key findings
Australian Social Trends: Who has household debt?

Here are some examples of how other organisations use the data:
The Conversation: The facts on Australian housing affordability
Australian Council of Social Services and UNSW Sydney: Inequality in Australia 2018

Where can I get more information?
If you want further information about this survey, please call 1800 462 609 (free call, excluding mobile phones).

For more information about participating in ABS surveys, see the Household Survey Participant Information FAQ's

For more information about the Survey of Income and Housing, see the Survey of Income and Housing User Guide

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