4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/10/2019   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Quality Declaration - Summary

Institutional Environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) collected information in order to:

  • measure the prevalence of disability in Australia
  • measure the need for support of older people and those with disability
  • estimate the number of and provide information about people who provide care to older people and people with disabilities
  • provide a demographic and socio-economic profile of people with disabilities, older people, and carers compared with the general population

For detailed information about the data items collected refer to the Data Item List on the Downloads tab.

Information from the SDAC will be used by a wide range of public and private sector agencies, in particular the Department of Health, Department of Social Services, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, National Disability Insurance Agency, the Productivity Commission and state and territory government departments with responsibility for planning support services for older people, people with disability, and carers.


The 2018 SDAC is the ninth national survey, following similar surveys in 1981, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2015. The SDAC was conducted in two parts: the cared-accommodation component, which ran from June to August 2018, and the household component, which ran from July 2018 to March 2019.

A summary of findings, including a broad set of tables in spreadsheet format was available on the ABS website on 24 October 2019.

Subject to standard error and confidentiality constraints, a series of tables in spreadsheet format will be produced for each state and territory and will be released in early 2020.

For individuals who wish to undertake more detailed analysis of the SDAC data, detailed microdata was released on 24 October 2019. A basic Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) and TableBuilder product will be released, subject to the approval of the Australian Statistician.


The 2018 SDAC was designed to provide reliable estimates at the national level and at the state level for each of the funding states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia).

The sample for the household component was selected at random using a multi-stage area sample of addresses from the ABS's Address Register. The sample for the cared-accommodation component was selected from in-scope health establishments from the Address Register. The sample consisted of approximately 31,000 private dwellings and 1,200 health establishments. After sample loss and non-response, the final sample achieved included approximately 21,900 private dwellings and 1,100 health establishments.

Estimates in this publication are subject to both sampling and non-sampling errors. Sampling error is the error associated with taking a sample of dwellings rather than going to all dwellings in Australia. In this publication the sampling error is measured by the relative standard error (RSE), which is the standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate, and the margin of error (MoE), which describes the distance from the population value that the sample estimate is likely to be within for a given level of confidence. Non-sampling errors can occur in any data collection, whether based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include:
  • non-response
  • errors in reporting by respondents or recording answers by interviewers
  • errors in coding or processing of data.

Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questions, training interviewers, follow-up of respondents and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.

Estimates, RSEs and MOEs in this publication have been assessed to ensure the confidentiality of individuals and dwellings contributing to the survey. Estimates in this publication have been randomly adjusted using the statistical process of perturbation to ensure confidentiality of respondents. In most cases, perturbation will have only a small impact on the estimate, while ensuring the information value of the published data as a whole is not impaired.


Results from the five previous household surveys on this topic were published in:

Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015 (cat. no. 4430.0)
Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)
Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2009 (cat. no. 4430.0)
Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2003 (cat. no. 4430.0)
Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 1998 (cat. no. 4430.0)

Data from the first three disability surveys (1981, 1988 and 1993) can be obtained by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Most of the content of the nine disability surveys conducted by the ABS is comparable. There are differences, however, as more recent surveys have tried to get better coverage of disability and of specific tasks and activities previously thought to be too sensitive for a population survey.

Only a small number of minor changes were made to the content between the 2018 and 2015 SDAC.

For further information on the comparability of data items between SDAC 2015 and 2018 and new 2018 data items see the 2018 SDAC Data Item List.


This publication contains tables and a summary of findings to assist with the interpretation of the results of the survey. Detailed Methodology, a Technical Note on Reliability of Estimates and a Glossary are also included, providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


Estimates and associated RSEs and MoEs for proportions are available in Excel spreadsheets, which can be accessed from the Downloads tab. Subject to standard error and confidentiality constraints, a series of tables will be produced for each state and territory. These tables will be available from the ABS website in early 2020.

Detailed microdata was released on the ABS website on 24 October 2019. It is expected that a TableBuilder and a basic CURF will be produced from the SDAC, subject to the approval of the Australian Statistician. Organisations will be able to register for access to the basic CURF in early 2020. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website.

Special tabulations of SDAC data are available on request for a fee. Tabulations can be produced from the survey subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints.