Australian Bureau of Statistics

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ABS/Universities Australia Agreement

The ABS/Universities Australia Agreement provides a range of products and services to universities. Participating Australian universities are listed on the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement participating universities web page.

Under the Agreement, staff and students are not individually invoiced for their use of the priced ABS products and services that are covered under the Agreement. This is because Universities Australia has paid for access on behalf of participating universities. Staff and students of these universities may use the products and services for the purposes of research, teaching and permitted commercial uses.

More information about the products and services provided by the Agreement and how to apply for access is provided below.



TableBuilder is an online tool for creating tables from ABS Census or survey data. Starting with an empty table, data variables can be selected for cross-tabulation. Tables can be saved within TableBuilder or exported in CSV, Excel or SDMX format.

Census and survey data are split into separate online tools. For more information about these products, see:

TableBuilder - survey data
TableBuilder - Census data


Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are released to authorised users for approved purposes of statistical analysis and research. Extensive information about CURFs is linked from the Microdata Entry Page, including:


Information about ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL) is provided on the About the ABS Data Laboratory web page. Under the current Agreement, each authorised user in a participating university may access the ABSDL for:
  • three 3.5 hour user sessions
  • use standard statistical analysis packages (SAS, SPSS or Stata)
  • use Basic or Expanded ABS CURFs that users have already been approved to access.
Loading of other statistical packages or software, additional user sessions beyond the initial three, additional concurrent users, or creation of Specialist CURFs will incur additional charges outside the Agreement.

Statistics New Zealand Basic CURFs

Like the ABS, Statistics New Zealand releases CURFs to approved researchers. Under the Agreement, New Zealand Basic CURFs are available to Australian university researchers via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL).

Access to Statistics New Zealand Basic CURFs is subject to approval by Statistics New Zealand. See ABS/SNZ reciprocal CURF access arrangements for information on how to apply for access to SNZ CURF Microdata.

Luxembourg Income Study

The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) is a cross national data archive located in Luxembourg. The Agreement provides access to LIS data for Australian researchers. Access is subject to users registering to use LIS through signing an annual pledge and submitting this to LIS. For information about LIS, refer to the Luxembourg Income Study website.


Permitted Commercial Use includes:
  • consultancy services for a third party, based on CURFs
  • statistical and other reports and publications produced from CURFs, and
  • teaching materials developed from CURFs.
Note that staff and students of participating universities when acting in a private capacity are not included in the Agreement. Secondary distribution of ABS CURFs or microdata is not a Permitted Commercial Use and is explicitly forbidden. Contact if you are unsure if your proposed use of the products and services falls into the above categories.

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Commonwealth of Australia 2015

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