1136.0 - Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/07/2007   
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Contents >> Statistical Collections >> Social >> Time Use Survey

Time Use Survey


Household Economic Resource Surveys Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7771


The 1997 Time Use Survey collected information about how people allocate time to activities such as paid work, unpaid household work and shopping, caring for children and frail, sick and disabled people, community participation, education, leisure and personal maintenance, from usual residents of private households aged 15 years and above. Other information collected relates to demographic characteristics, labour force participation, education participation, income and the use of time saving services.


Information was collected from usual residents in private dwellings, except:

  • certain non-Australian diplomatic personnel
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia
  • persons living in remote and sparsely settled parts of Australia

Reference Period

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.


Release schedule

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)

Other information

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.

Data Service

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
Marital status
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

Education activities
attendance at educational courses
job related training
homework, study and research
breaks at place of education
associated communication
associated travel
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

Historical Data

The survey was conducted in 1992, 1997 and 2006.

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