8146.3 - Use of Information Technology by Households in Queensland, 2004-05  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/05/2006   
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1 This publication presents results of the use of information technology by households in Queensland, which were compiled from data collected in the inaugural Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS). This survey was conducted throughout Australia as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) each month from August 2004 to June 2005.

2 The MPHS was designed to provide statistics annually for a number of small, self-contained topics. These include labour topics and other social and economic topics. The topics collected in 2004-05 were:

  • Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation
  • Retirement and Retirement Intentions
  • Household Use of Information Technology (HUIT).


3 The MPHS is conducted as a supplement to the monthly LFS. One-third of the dwellings in the outgoing rotation group (one-eighth of the sample is rotated out each month) are selected for the MPHS. In these dwellings, after LFS has been fully completed for each person in scope and coverage, a person (usual resident) aged 18 years and over is selected at random (based on a computer algorithm) and asked the additional MPHS questions in a personal interview. Data was collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer during a telephone interview.

4 The sample was accumulated over an eleven-month period (August 2004 to June 2005). It was not enumerated in July 2004 due to a delay in full implementation of CAI for the LFS.

5 The MPHS questions were asked using a telephone interview. The ABS has taken reasonable steps during the survey development process to ensure that this change in collection methodology does not affect the quality of the data, but a small impact for the more complex questions cannot be ruled out.

6 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.


7 The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes the following persons:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).


8 For the MPHS in 2004-2005 the following people are also excluded:
  • people under the age of 18 years
  • people living in private dwellings in very remote parts of Australia
  • people living in special dwellings such as hotels, university residences, etc.
  • Students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons
  • visitors to private dwellings
  • people living in very remote indigenous communities.

9 This supplementary survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas in all states and territories, but excluded persons living in very remote parts of Australia. The exclusion of these people is unlikely to impact on the estimates included in this publication.


10 In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.


11 Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit, which, for the MPHS, can be either a person or a household. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. The initial weights are then calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks'. Weights are calibrated against population benchmarks to ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself.


12 The survey was benchmarked to the estimated civilian population aged 18 years and over living in private dwellings in each state and territory in non-sparsely settled areas. The process of weighting ensures that the survey estimates conform to person benchmarks by state, part of state, age and sex and to household benchmarks by state, part of state and household composition. These benchmarks are produced from estimates of the resident population derived independently of the survey.


13 Survey estimates of counts of persons or households are obtained by summing the weights of persons or households with the characteristic of interest.


14 Certain data items such as estimates of income had significant non-response for 2004-05. The ABS has not applied any imputation methodology for estimation of values for non-responses.


15 Some households reported negative income in the survey. This is possible if they incur losses in their unincorporated businesses or have negative returns from their investments. Studies of income and expenditure from the 1998-99 Household Expenditure Survey (HES) have shown that such households in the bottom income decile and with negative gross incomes tend to have expenditure levels that are comparable to those of households with higher income levels (and slightly above the average expenditures recorded for the fifth decile), indicating that these households have access to economic resources, such as wealth or that the instance of low or negative income is temporary, perhaps reflecting business or investment start up.


16 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of the MPHS and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.


17 Other ABS publications on the production and use of information and communication technologies and telecommunication goods and services in Australia are:

  • Use of Information Technology by Households in Queensland, 1998-2003 (cat. no. 8146.3)
  • Business Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2003-04 (cat. no. 8129.0)
  • Government Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8119.0)
  • Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8146.0)
  • Information and Communication Technology, Australia, 2002-03 (cat. no. 8126.0)
  • Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2003-04 (cat. no. 8150.0)
  • Internet Activity, Australia, March 2005 (cat. no. 8153.0)

18 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS website <https://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily release advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.


19 As well as statistics included in this report, the ABS has a range of data on the use of selected information technologies in households. Inquiries about these statistics can be made by telephoning the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.