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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Family and Community Statistics Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7880


The 2006 Time Use Survey collected detailed information from Australians on their daily activity patterns. The survey measures 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. Other information collected relates to demographic characteristics, labour force participation, education participation, income and the use of time saving services. Comparisons are provided with results from the 1992 and 1997 Time Use Surveys to show the changes in time use over the fifteen year period.


Information was collected from usual residents in private dwellings aged 15 years and over, 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 last conducted over four 13-day periods between February and November 2006, chosen to contain a representative proportion of public holidays and school holidays.

Frequency of collection

This is an irregular survey.

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 2006 survey were released in February 2008.


How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (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, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 4150.0)

Other information

Although the 2006 survey is largely a repeat of the 1997 survey, some items have been expanded (e.g. income amount is now separated by income source and more detailed data regarding the use of Information Technology are available). New items include: identification of grandparents and the types of care given to grandchildren; indicators of casual work, paid and unpaid overtime, whether people working from home are doing so by an ongoing arrangement with an employer; and some subjective items such as generalised trust, time stress, satisfaction with use of time, and attitude to gardening.

Data Service

A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is available for the 1997 survey (ABS cat. no. 4152.0), and the 2006 survey. The Time Use Survey 2006 Expanded CURF (ABS cat. no. 4152.0.55.002) provides a greater level of detail than that provided in the Time Use Survey 2006 Basic CURF (ABS cat. no. 4152.0.55.001). The Expanded CURF is only available via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL). A Basic CURF is also available, which can be accessed on CD-ROM and/or via the RADL.

Time Use Survey, Confidentialised Unit Record File - Basic CURF on CD-ROM and RADL, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 4152.0.55.001)
Time Use Survey, Confidentialised Unit Record File - Expanded CURF on RADL, 2006 (ABS cat. no. 4152.0.55.002)
Time Use Survey, Confidentialised Unit Record File,1997 (ABS cat. no. 4152.0)


State or territory of usual residence
Capital city/balance of state, Section of state, Remoteness areas
Marital status
Relationship in household

Family composition
Country of birth

Country of birth of parents
Year of arrival in Australia

Self-assessed health status
Disability status

Participation in education and training

Whether still at school, studying full-time, studying part-time

Level of current study
Type of institution attending

Education activities
Attendance at educational courses (excluding job-related training)
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
Level of highest non-school qualification
Level of highest educational attainment
Main field of study for highest non-school qualification

Historical Data

The survey was conducted in 1992, 1997 and 2006.