Government Benefits, Taxes and Household Income (cat. no. 6537.0) was released in June 2012. This publication presents the result of a study of the effects of taxation and government expenditure on the distribution of income among private households, compiled from data in 2009-10 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) and Household Expenditure Survey (HES).
Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6523.0) was released in August 2011. This publication presents estimates of the income and other characteristics of households and persons resident in private dwellings in Australia, compiled from the 2009-10 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). A datacube provides detailed tables additional to those included in the main publication.
Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6530.0) was released in September 2011. This publication presents a summary of the results from the 2009-10 Household Expenditure Survey (HES), which was conducted on a subsample of the households comprising the 2009-10 SIH. The publication presents estimates of expenditure on broad categories of goods and services classified by various household characteristics. A datacube provides detailed tables additional to those included in the main publication. A feature article on government pension and allowance recipients is included in the publication.
Microdata: Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing: Basic and Expanded CURF, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6540.0) was released in September 2011. This consists of a file containing confidentialised unit record data from the HES and the SIH. Four individual microdata files are available: the basic files for HES and SIH are distributed on CD-ROM or can be accessed via the Remote Access Data laboratory; the expanded files for HES and SIH are only able to be accessed via the Remote Access Data Laboratory. Subject to the limitations of sample size and data classifications used, it is possible to manipulate the date, produce tabulations and undertake statistical analyses to individual specifications.
Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no. 6503.0) was released in September 2011. It describes the concepts, definitions, methodology and estimation procedures used in the HES and SIH. It also contains the questionnaires, lists of output data items and the Household Expenditure Classification (HEC).
Key Data Sources
Household Expenditure Survey (HES), 2009-10
The HES is currently conducted every six years. When the HES is run, it is integrated with the biennial SIH, with the HES conducted on a subsample of the SIH sample. Income, wealth and housing cost data are available for SIH (and HES) households. Expenditure and financial stress data are available for HES households.
In 2009-10 HES, the sample size was increased by nearly 3,000, to around 9,800 households. The additional sample relates to households whose main source of income is from government pensions, benefits and allowances. The additional sample improves the quality of the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI), by ensuring the goods and services included in the Index are more representative of the actual spending patterns of pensioners and other beneficiaries.
In 2009-10 SIH, the sample was almost doubled to around 18,000 households. Part of this increase stems directly from the increase in the HES sample. An additional increase in the SIH sample has been applied to improve the accuracy of 'balance of state' estimates i.e. for areas outside of the capital cities. It will particularly support the development of a new indicator on the proportion of homes sold or built that are affordable by households on low or moderate incomes.
General Social Survey (GSS), 2010
The GSS is currently conducted every four years. It collects a wide range of information to enable it to be linked across areas of social concern. The focus is on the relationships between characteristics from different areas, rather than in depth information about a particular field. Topics that have been regularly collected include health, housing, education, work, income, financial stress and resilience, broad assets and liabilities, transport, social capital, voluntary work, family and community, and crime.
In the 2010 GSS content was added or redeveloped in the following areas: cultural diversity; health; education; work; financial stress; resilience and exclusion; crime and safety; attendance at selected cultural and leisure venues; sport and physical activity; social network qualities; visa categories; and difficulty accessing service providers. Voluntary work was collected in less detail in 2010 to enable the collection of additional content in other topic areas and to include the new experience of homelessness topic. General Social Survey: Summary of Results (cat. no. 4159.0) was released September 2011 and the Microdata: General Social Survey, CURF, 2010 (cat. no. 4159.0.30.003) released in December 2011.
Frameworks and Standards
Standards for Income Variables, 2010 (cat. no. 1287.0)
In March 2010, the ABS released new standards on its website for the major income variables used in its household collections. The new standards reflect the outcomes of a major review undertaken to align the Australian standards with new international standards, to reflect advances in the collection of income data in its specialised income surveys (SIH and HES), and to address a range of practical issues with the various instruments used to collect income data in household collections.
Canberra Group Handbook
The Canberra Group Handbook (CGH) on household income statistics was developed by an International Expert Group established at the initiative of the ABS. The Final Report and Recommendations of the Expert Group on Household Income Statistics (2001) was highly influential in the establishment of revised international standards for household income statistics, and has been widely used internationally as a guide for statistics in the field.
At the initiative of the Conference of European Statisticians, and undertaken by an International Task Force led by the ABS, the CGH has been updated to reflect the latest international standards and best practice in household income measurement. The Second Edition of the Canberra Handgroup (CGH) was published at the end of 2011 with the most updated international standards for household income statistics.
Income, consumption and wealth statistics
In response to the recommendations of a number of international groups, including the Canberra Group and the Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Report), the OECD has established an Expert Group to develop an international household income, consumption and wealth framework, and new standards and guidelines for the compilation of micro level household wealth statistics.
The Expert Group met for the first time in March 2011. It is being chaired by the ABS and comprises experts from 18 national statistical offices, the Statistical Offices of the European Community and the United Nationals Economic Commission for Europe, the European Central Bank and the Luxembourg Income Study. Publications covering the two areas of work are expected to be published in 2013.
Survey of Income and Housing (SIH), 2012-13 – September 2013
Household Energy Consumption Survey (HECs) – This survey collects information on household energy consumption patterns, costs, dwelling characteristics combined with SIH variables related income, wealth and housing. The initial HECS results will be released on 28 September 2013.