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Current Household Surveys
 

MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY (MPS)
GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY (GSS) 2013 -14
SURVEY OF INCOME AND HOUSING (SIH) 2013 -14
NATIONAL HEALTH SURVEY (NHS) 2014-15
NATIONAL ABORIGINAL and TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SOCIAL SURVEY (NATSISS) 2014/15


MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY (MPS)

Background


The Monthly Population Survey (MPS) has been carried out since 1960 to provide regular information about the population and the labour force of Australia. The figures for Australia's employment and unemployment come from this survey.

Your household is one of approximately 35,000 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 information collected in the MPS is used in Government economic policy decision making and in other economic planning and research by the Commonwealth and State Governments, industry, business, trade unions and academics.

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, the environment, conditions of employment or child care arrangements.
During July to December 2009, a small portion of respondents will be asked about work related injuries, participation in sports and physical recreation, attendance at cultural venues and events, sports attendance, patient experience, family characteristics and crime and safety.

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?


Interviews will be conducted for your dwelling once every month for eight months. 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 the labour force 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?

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.

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.

Is the survey compulsory?

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 authorises the ABS to ask the questions in the survey. The ABS's approach is to seek the willing cooperation of the selected householders by explaining to them that the survey is of national importance and that the information collected from them will ultimately benefit all Australians. Most households recognise the importance of the survey and the need to collect accurate information that is representative of all households.

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?

Yes. Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, all information provided for the MPS remains confidential. By this we mean that the ABS is under an obligation to ensure that data released to the public, or to any other government department or body, cannot identify any individual who provides their information. The information from individuals is formed into statistics that generalise about population groups and the population as a whole.

The secrecy provisions of the legislation provide for a penalty of up to $5,000 or two years in jail for ABS officers who breach these confidentiality rules. There have been no breaches of confidentiality in the past – the ABS has an unblemished record in this regard.

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).

Further information


If you want further information about the Monthly Population Survey or copies of the published results, please contact the ABS office in your state or territory.
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GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY (GSS) 2014

Background

The General Social Survey (GSS) is a multi-dimensional social survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The GSS provides information about the social characteristics and well-being of the Australian population every four years. The GSS 2014 will be conducted from 2 March to 28 June 2014.

What information is collected?

Many factors are likely to influence peoples’ heath, social or working life, financial situation, living conditions or their general well-being. The GSS collects a range of topics to allow a better understanding of the relationships between different aspects of peoples’ lives, including:
    • family and community
    • disability
    • education
    • discrimination
    • volunteering
    • culture and leisure activities
    • crime and safety
    • contact with family and friends
    • time stress
    • trust
    • sport and cultural activity attendance.

The information will be collected via a personal interview and the answers treated confidentially.

How was the content of the survey determined?

To determine the content of the survey, the ABS consults with a wide range of users of the survey data, which is used in policy development and to evaluate programs which effect many people in Australia. These users include government departments as well as academic and other research organisations such as welfare and service providers.

How are people selected for inclusion in the survey?

The survey will be conducted in approximately 19,000 households across Australia. Using scientific sampling techniques, dwellings were selected at random, with each dwelling having an equal chance of selection.

One member of each selected household aged 15 years and over will be chosen at random via computer to participate. For household members aged between 15 and 17 years, the consent of a parent or guardian will be sought.

Each selected household represents similar people in the community. The cooperation of all those selected is important to ensure all households and individuals are properly represented in the Survey and so are properly reflected in the Survey results.

How will the information be collected?

Selected households will receive a letter informing them of their selection in the Survey together with a brochure which outlines the Survey, their role in it, details of how they can provide their contact details online, and an ABS office contact number. If contact details are provided, a trained ABS Interviewer will contact the Household by telephone to arrange to conduct the interview/s. If contact details are not provided, a trained ABS Interviewer will visit the address to arrange a time to conduct the interview/s.

The GSS is conducted using a face-to-face interview, capturing details in a notebook computer. 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.

Is the survey compulsory?

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 authorises the ABS to ask the questions in the survey. The ABS's approach is to seek the willing cooperation of the selected householders by explaining to them that the survey is of national importance and that the information collected from them will ultimately benefit all Australians. Most households recognise the importance of the survey and the need to collect accurate information that is representative of all households.

Further information

If you would like further information about this survey, please contact the ABS office in your state or territory

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SURVEY OF INCOME AND HOUSING (SIH) 2013-2014

Background

The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) is one of the most important special social surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It is the primary source of information on household income, housing costs and household wealth.

The information collected in the SIH will enable an assessment of the economic and social wellbeing of Australians, including how work and family responsibilities are balanced and how income and wealth are distributed across the Australian population.

The SIH commenced in 1994 and is conducted every two years, with the last collection in 2011–12. The 2013–14 SIH will be conducted over the period 30 June 2013 and 28 June 2014.

What information is collected?

In addition to collecting general information including age, birthplace, employment, education and income, the SIH collects information about dwelling tenure, assets, liabilities, loans, housing, and child care costs.

A household spokesperson who is aged 18 years and over and a usual resident of the household will be nominated to answer loan and housing questions on behalf of the household. Individual interviews with each person aged 15 years and over in the household will collect information on their employment and income.

How was the content of the survey determined?

The ABS consults with a wide range of data users in determining the content of the survey. These users include government departments, business groups, universities, service providers, welfare agencies and other research organisations. The SIH is the most detailed source of information on household income, housing costs and housing tenure, with the range and type of information obtained generally not available from other sources.

How are people selected for inclusion in the survey?

Approximately 20,500 households will be approached from rural and urban areas across Australia to participate in the SIH. Using scientific sampling techniques, dwellings were selected at random within each state and territory, with each dwelling having an equal chance of selection. All household usual residents aged 15 years and over in the selected dwelling are asked to participate. For household members aged between 15 and 17 years, the consent of a parent or guardian will be sought.

Each selected dwelling (and its residents) represents a number of others in that area, 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, income and housing tenure. The cooperation of all those selected is important to ensure all households and individuals are properly represented in the survey and so are properly reflected in the survey results.

How will the information be collected?

Selected households will receive a letter informing them of their selection in the survey together with a brochure which outlines the survey, their role in it and an ABS office contact number. A 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.

The survey is conducted using a face-to-face interview, capturing details in a notebook computer. The survey consists of an interview with a household spokesperson who has knowledge of the household finances, and interviews with each individual aged 15 years and over.

Further information

If you would like further information about this survey, please contact the ABS office in your state or territory.

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NATIONAL HEALTH SURVEY (NHS) 2014-15

Background

The National Health Survey (NHS) is an important social survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The NHS has been conducted by the ABS on a regular basis since 1977. The ABS has been regularly measuring the health of Australians for over 38 years.

The NHS provides the community with vital information for measuring the health and wellbeing of Australians.

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 us all live healthier and longer lives.

The NHS 2014-15 will be conducted from 6 July 2014 to 27 June 2015.

What information is collected?

The NHS collects a range of information to give a ‘snapshot’ of Australia’s health, including the type of health problems people have, their lifestyle patterns and the health related actions they take.

The NHS includes questions about:

    • General health and wellbeing (including disability status)
    • Health related actions (service use, private health insurance)
    • Health risk status (exercise, 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, behavioural, cognitive and developmental conditions and related conditions)
    • Medications
    • Physical measures (blood pressure, weight, height and waist size) (this part of the survey is voluntary).

In addition, detailed demographic and socio-demographic data (age, country of birth, 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, and to help identify those with special needs.

Adults aged 18 years and over who are selected for the NHS 2014-15 will also be asked to volunteer follow-up contact details for the purpose of assisting ABS with future health related information collections.


How was the content of the survey determined?

The content of the survey was developed in consultation with government agencies, health
professionals and others with interests in the health field. Topics included in the survey are
those identified as highest priority to address health policy, planning and research questions.

Questions were thoroughly tested to determine their suitability and to assess respondent reaction. Where appropriate, questions included in the previous NHS (conducted as part of the Australian Health Survey) have been retained to ensure comparability of data.

How are people selected for inclusion in the Survey?

Approximately 20, 000 households will be approached across Australia to participate in the NHS 2014/15. Using scientific sampling techniques, dwellings were selected at random, with each dwelling having an equal chance of selection. Up to two Usual Residents – one adult (18 years and older) and one child (0-17 years) in the selected dwelling are asked to participate. For household members aged between 15 and 17 years, the consent of a parent or guardian will be sought.

Each selected household represents similar people in the community. The cooperation of all those selected is important to ensure all households and individuals are properly represented in the Survey and so are properly reflected in the Survey results.

How will the information be collected?

Selected households will receive a Guide which will explain that the household has been selected for the survey and advises that a survey invitation (Registration Letter) will arrive within the week requesting the household to register electronically for the Survey, prior to an Interviewer making contact to arrange to visit their home. It will also provide householders with some background information about the Survey and will include a telephone number to call for more information and to arrange a suitable interview time directly.

Five days prior to enumeration a Reminder Letter will be sent to households. This will give the respondents another opportunity to provide their contact details and best time to call information.

If contact details are provided, a trained ABS Interviewer will contact the Household by telephone to arrange to conduct the interview/s. If contact details are not provided, a trained ABS Interviewer will visit the address to arrange a time to conduct the interview/s.


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

Where possible, 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?

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.

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.

Is the Survey compulsory?

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 authorises the ABS to ask the questions in the Survey. The ABS's approach is to seek the willing cooperation of the selected householders by explaining to them that the Survey is of national importance and that the information collected from them will ultimately benefit all Australians. Most households recognise the importance of the Survey and the need to collect accurate information that is representative of all households.

Will the information provided be confidential?

Yes, the answers provided will be treated confidentially. The ABS is required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to maintain the secrecy of all information provided. The ABS also complies with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 when collecting and using personal information. No information will be released in any way that would enable an individual or household to be identified. The ABS is widely respected for its long-standing record for maintaining the secrecy of information it receives.

Where can I obtain the Survey results?

Full Survey results will not be available until 2016. The publication will be available, free of charge, on the ABS website.

Further information

If you would like further information about this survey, please contact the ABS office in your state or territory.

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NATIONAL ABORIGINAL and TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SOCIAL SURVEY (NATSISS) 2014-15

Background

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) is part of an established program of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The NATSISS collects information about the social characteristics and well-being of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population every six years.

The NATSISS 2014-15 will be conducted from September 2014 to April 2015.

Further information

To find out more about this survey, please visit the NATSISS webpage on the ABS web site for further information.


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Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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