4130.0 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/07/2019   
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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 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) collects detailed information on income, wealth, housing, characteristics of individuals, income units and households from a sample of private dwellings throughout Australia.

The survey collects information by personal interview from usual residents of private dwellings in urban and rural areas of not Very Remote Australia, covering approximately 97% of the people living in private dwellings in Australia.

The survey facilitates the analysis and monitoring of the social and economic welfare of Australians in private dwellings. The main users are government and other social and economic analysts involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of social and economic policies.

Income and wealth data are used by economic and social analysts and policy makers to:

  • understand the distribution of economic resources among private households in Australia
  • identify households most at risk of experiencing economic hardship
  • understand the effects of taxation and welfare payments on people and families.

Housing data are used for:
  • housing affordability studies
  • analysis of housing conditions and occupancy, including levels of home ownership and housing utilisation
  • tracking changes in housing costs by tenure type over time.


The SIH is conducted every two years. The 2017–18 SIH collected information over the period early July 2017 to late June 2018.

The first results from the 2017–18 survey were released on 12th July 2019, just over one year from the end of data collection. Subsequent outputs, including other publications, microdata products and Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURF) will be released in July/August 2019.


Final sample

In 2017–18, the SIH sample size was 14,060 households. The expansion of the sample (beginning in 2009–10 SIH) to include an extra 4,200 households located outside capital cities to better support COAG performance reporting was maintained.

See the User Guide and Explanatory Notes for more information about sampling and weighting.

To address partial non-response, data were imputed for missing fields. The final SIH sample includes 3,745 households which had at least one imputed value (27% of households). Of the total person sample (aged 15 years and over), 9,946 person records had at least one imputed value (30% of persons aged 15 years and over). Imputation flags are provided at the module level in the CURF to allow users to identify and remove records with imputed data.

Reliability of the estimates

Estimates produced from the SIH are subject to two types of error: non-sampling error; and sampling error.

Non-sampling error

Non-sampling error can occur in any collection, whether the estimates are derived from a sample or from a complete collection such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents or recording of answers by interviewers and errors in coding and processing the data.

Sampling error

The estimates are based on a sample of possible observations and are subject to sampling variability. The estimates may therefore differ from the figures that would have been produced if information had been collected for all households. A measure of the sampling error for a given estimate is provided by the standard error, which may be expressed as a percentage of the estimate (relative standard error). In addition, for proportions Margins of Error (MoE) are presented. The MoEs in this publication are calculated at the 95% confidence level (1.96 multiplied by the standard error).

The sample was designed to facilitate analysis at the part of state level with a high level of accuracy for key indicators from the SIH, including: Equivalised Disposable Household Income; Net Worth; and housing indicators.


The SIH provides baseline income and wealth information which provides a comparison point for the Census, and other ABS and external surveys. Selected comparisons with other ABS sources and a comparison between items collected in the SIH and the Australian System of National Accounts will be provided on the Downloads tab of the User Guide. There are some differences between the SIH and these other sources for various reasons, including scope, coverage, period and definitional differences (standardised where possible), non-response, and potential under- and over-estimates of some items in the SIH.

Each cycle of the SIH collects comparable information to allow for analysis of changes over time.

Various statistics can be utilised to make comparisons between 2017–18 SIH data and data from previous SIH cycles. These include the Gini coefficient (a summary measure of income and wealth distribution and inequality), proportions (e.g. proportional share of income and wealth), means and medians. Wherever comparisons of prior cycles are made in the data cubes, CPI adjusted data has been provided to allow for analysis of real change after inflation is taken into account.

The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey. Sound survey practice, however, requires ongoing development and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the data and the efficiency of the collection. Current income and wealth standards are available on the ABS website and more information is available in the Explanatory Notes of this publication and the User Guide publication.


Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the SIH can be found in the Explanatory Notes, Glossary included with this publication and the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2017–18 (cat. no. 6553.0).


Tabulated data and associated relative standard errors are freely available in Excel spreadsheets which can be accessed from the 'downloads' tab.

A Basic CURF product will be produced from the SIH, subject to the approval of the Australian Statistician. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website. It is expected that the Basic CURF will be available in August 2019. A Survey TableBuilder product is also planned to be released in July 2019 as well as a detailed file available from the DataLab.

Customised data are also available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors which in some cases may result in data being regarded as unfit for release. A data item list is available from the 'downloads' tab of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2017–18 (cat. no. 6553.0).

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.