4430.0.30.002 - Microdata: Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2018 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/10/2019   
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  • Quality Declaration - Summary

Quality Declaration - Summary

Institutional environment

The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) will be released as:

    • detailed microdata files in the DataLab
    • a TableBuilder
    • a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF)

To maintain confidentiality, microdata files must meet the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

More information on confidentiality practices can be found at:
Please see ABS Institutional Environment for information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements and mechanisms for scrutiny of operations.


The 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

Detailed information about the data items available for each microdata product is provided in the Data Item Lists on the Downloads page.

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.

The microdata products are released approximately 6 to 12 months after data collection is completed.


The microdata contains unit record level data for the SDAC. Key findings from the survey are available from Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0).

Steps are taken to confidentialise the microdata files in a way that maximises the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the microdata with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the SDAC microdata is available on the ABS website How The ABS Keeps Your Information Confidential.


The Past & Future Releases page links to other releases of the SDAC microdata.

A summary of the five previous household surveys on this topic were published in:
Data from the first three disability surveys (1981, 1988 and 1993) can be obtained by contacting the National Information and Referral Service.

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.

The 2003 survey included questions relating to unmet need for, and receipt of, assistance with cognition or emotion. This provided a better perspective on assistance needs and requirements for both physical and psychological needs. The 2009 survey had further enhancements to measure unmet need. The 2012 survey added content to measure barriers and costs to health care, feelings of safety at and away from home, and satisfaction with the quality and range of health services available. The 2015 survey added questions on accessibility to selected locations and facilities, discrimination, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participation and prevalence of dementia. Only a small number of minor changes were made to the content between the 2015 and 2018 surveys.

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


Information in the Summary page of this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It includes:
    • survey methodology
    • file structure
    • using the CURF
    • using the TableBuilder
    • using the DataLab
    • conditions of use
    • data items

Further information can be found in the Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0). In particular, information to assist in interpretation of the data can be found in the Interpretation of Results section of the Explanatory Notes.


Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wanting to access microdata should familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.

The 2018 SDAC microdata can be accessed using a Basic CURF, the TableBuilder or detailed microdata in the DataLab environment.

The Compare Access Options page contains general information on different types of microdata product access. A full list of available microdata can be viewed via Available Microdata.

Other data are available from the ABS on a fee for service basis, subject to confidentiality and data quality constraints. Tabulations to meet individual requirements can incorporate data items, populations and geographic areas.

For further information, contact information is available on the Microdata contacts page.

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