1136.0 - A Directory of Education and Training Statistics, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/03/2009   
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Consumer Price Indexes Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 6251


The simplest way of thinking about the CPI is to imagine a basket of goods and services comprising items bought by Australian households. Now imagine the basket is purchased each quarter. As prices change from one quarter to the next, so too will the total price of the basket. The CPI is simply a measure of the changes in the price of this fixed basket as the prices of items in it change.

The Education subgroup is split into three expenditure classes:

  • Preschool and primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Tertiary education

Child care is an expenditure class within Household contents and services.


The Australian Consumer Price Index (CPI) is designed to provide a general measure of price inflation for the household sector as a whole. In practice, the index is constrained to only measure the changes in prices faced by private households living in the six State capital cities plus Canberra and Darwin.

Reference Period

Financial quarters ending March, June, September, and December.

Frequency of Collection

While most CPI items are priced each quarter, prices in the Education group are collected at the start of each calendar year.

Method of collection

The CPI is compiled independently for each of the eight capital cities, based on prices collected in each city. In the case of the Australian CPI this methodology involves devising a basket of goods and services representative of those acquired by metropolitan private households during the course of a full year. The annual basket used in the CPI is based primarily on data obtained from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) which is the only authoritative source of data on the expenditures of different household types in each of the capital cities.

The total basket is divided into 11 major groups, each representing a specific set of commodities; 'Education' is one of the major commodity groups. These commodity groups are then divided into subgroups, and then 'expenditure classes' at the most detailed level. The major 'Education' group has one 'Education' subgroup which is split into three expenditure classes:
  • Preschool and primary education (Expenditure class 10.1.1)
  • Secondary education (Expenditure class 10.1.2)
  • Tertiary education (Expenditure class 10.1.3)

Child care (Expenditure class 5.4.1 ) is an expenditure class within Household contents and services. While expenditure class numbers are used in the HES-CPI concordance, they are not referred to in the CPI publication.


Release schedule

The data are typically released on the fourth Wednesday after the end of the reference quarter, depending on public holidays, but no later than the last Wednesday of the month after the end of the reference quarter.


Consumer Price Index, Australia (ABS cat. no. 6401.0)
Australian Consumer Price Index: concepts, sources, and methods, 2005 (ABS cat. no. 6461.0)
Information Paper: Introduction of the 15th Series Australian Consumer Price Index 2005 (Reissue), 2005 (ABS cat. no. 6462.0)
A Guide to the Consumer Price Index: 15th Series, 2005 (ABS cat. no. 6440.0)


Data are available for each State and Territory capital city and for the weighted average of all capital cities.



Preschool and primary education
Secondary education
Tertiary education

Household services
Child care

Historical Data

Extensive and detailed time series spreadsheets are available on the ABS Website. Both the Education and the Child care series commence in March quarter 1982; and the Tertiary, Secondary, and Preschool and primary education expenditure class series commence in June quarter 2000.