4150.0 - Time Use Survey: User Guide, 2006  
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Sample design

For the Time Use Survey, a target sample size of 3,870 households throughout all States and Territories was sufficient to provide:

  • detailed person-level information for Australia;
  • detailed household-level information for Australia;
  • relatively detailed person day-level information for Australia for weekend/Saturday/Sunday day types;
  • relatively detailed data for Capital City/Balance of State or Territory; and
  • estimates for those characteristics which are relatively common and for sub-populations which are relatively large and spread fairly evenly geographically.

Sample selection

The Time Use Survey had special requirements and constraints. Time use may vary according to the day of the week and particularly between weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the survey was designed to account for this. In the 1997 survey all days of the week were surveyed in equal proportion and estimates were produced for weekdays and weekends. For the 2006 survey weekend data was to be split into Saturday and Sunday and estimates produced for weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In order to achieve acceptable standard errors for estimates produced for Saturdays and Sundays, twice as many Saturdays and Sundays were surveyed as every weekday. Therefore, approximately 1/9 of the sample was assigned to each weekday and 2/9 of the sample was assigned to each of Saturday and Sunday.

The days of the week were surveyed in approximately these proportions in each of the four collection periods during the year, with school and public holidays represented in approximately the same proportion as they occurred during the year. Diaries were therefore to be completed on specified days.

Collection periods were as follows:

  • 20th February - 4th March 2006;
  • 24th April - 6th May 2006;
  • 26th June - 8th July 2006;
  • 23rd October - 4th November 2006.

The survey was conducted using a stratified multi-stage area sample of private dwellings (houses, flats, etc.) in both urban and rural areas in all States and Territories, except for very remote parts of Australia. Usual residents of the dwelling aged 15 years and over were asked to participate in the survey.

The 2006 Time Use Survey required 5/9 of the sample be allocated to weekdays and 2/9 of the sample allocated to each of Saturday and Sunday. Interviewers were assigned either a 'pair' workload consisting of two selected Collection Districts (CDs) with specified days in successive weeks, or a 'single' workload consisting of one selected CD. A selected CD was assigned two specific consecutive days for enumeration, and thus all selected persons in the same CD filled in TUS diaries for the same two days. There were seven different types of 'pair' workloads, designed and randomly allocated to 'paired' CDs in such a way as to ensure equal allocation of the seven days. 'Single' workloads were then used to increase the proportion of Saturdays and Sundays, as those CDs were always enumerated on the middle weekend of the collection period.

To enable an acceptable level of accuracy and reliability to be achieved after allowing for sample loss (through factors such as vacant dwellings inadvertently selected in the sample, non-contacts and persons out of scope and coverage) about 6,600 dwellings were selected. This number also took into account the expected rate of non-response, as determined from the 1997 survey.

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