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Time Use Survey
The survey was conducted over four 13-day periods between January and November 1997.
Frequency of collection
This is an irregular survey. The Time Use Survey was conducted again in 2006, the results of which will be available late 2007.
Method of collection
Information was obtained in the Time Use Survey partly by interview and partly by self-completion diaries. Information was collected for all persons aged 15 years or more in selected households.
A household form was used to collect basic demographic data (sex, age, birthplace) and details of the relationship between individuals in each household. A personal questionnaire concentrated on further demographic and socio-economic information about each household person in scope, to identify population groups. A diary was provided for each person in scope in the household to record the nature, timing and duration of their activities over two specified days.
The results of the 1997 survey were released in December 1998. Another Time Use Survey was conducted in 2006 and results are expected to be released in late 2007.
How Australians Use Their Time, 1997 (ABS cat. no. 4153.0)
Information Paper: Time Use Survey, Australia - Unit Record File, 1997 (ABS cat.no. 4151.0)
Time Use on Culture/Leisure Activities, 1997 (ABS cat. no. 4173.0)
Time Use Survey, Australia—Users' Guide (ABS cat. no. 4150.0)
During 2006 the ABS conducted its third national Time Use Survey, similar to those conducted in 1992 and 1997. Data from the 2006 survey will be released in the last quarter of 2007. Although the 2006 survey is largely a repeat of the 1997 survey, some items have been expanded, such as income amount separately by income source, and the use of Information Technology. New items include: identification of grandparents and the types of care given to grandchildren; indicators of casual work, paid and unpaid overtime, and whether people working from home are doing so by an ongoing arrangement with an employer; and some subjective items such as generalised trust, satisfaction with use of time, and attitude to gardening.
Data is available for Australia, the larger states (NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia), and capital city/balance of state for Australia.
A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is available for the 1997 survey: Time Use Survey, Australia, Confidentialised Unit Record File (ABS cat. no. 4152.0).
State or territory of usual residence
Area of usual residence
Relationship in household
Country of birth
Year of arrival in Australia
Participation in education and training
Whether finished schooling in Australia
Field of study of highest qualification obtained
attendance at educational courses
job related training
homework, study and research
breaks at place of education
teaching and helping children
playing, reading and talking with children
visiting child care establishment or school
attendance at recreational courses (excluding school and university
Other education-related data items
age left school
highest level of secondary schooling completed
post-school educational qualifications
whether still at school, studying full-time, studying part-time, studying by correspondence
level of current study
type of institution attending
The survey was conducted in 1992, 1997 and 2006.
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