4159.0.30.004 - Microdata: General Social Survey, Australia, 2014 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/09/2015  First Issue
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  • Quality Declaration



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.

Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) and TableBuilder files are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with CURFs can be found on the About CURF Microdata page. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with TableBuilder can be found on the Confidentiality page of the User Manual: TableBuilder.


Microdata from the General Social Survey 2014 are available as an Expanded CURF and in a TableBuilder.

The microdata contains information about a range of key indicators relating to a wide range of characteristics of people aged 15 years and over. Rather than concentrating in detail on a particular area of social concern, the GSS provides a wide range of information about the same individuals and will therefore make it possible to measure multiple social disadvantage across various aspects of peoples' lives. Outcomes related to health, education, employment, social cohesion and living conditions will be able to be derived.

The information collected in the 2014 GSS is largely unchanged from that in the 2010 GSS (approximately 80% unchanged). Core content includes demographics, housing, education, labour force, income, selected assets and liabilities, financial stress, health and disability, transport, mobility, crime, culture and leisure, sports, information technology, and family and community involvement. New topics in 2014 include: information about sexual orientation; experiences of discrimination; parental education; long term health conditions (including mental ill health); and more detailed information on volunteering activities.

The General Social Survey: User Guide, Australia 2014 (cat. no. 4159.0.55.002) is a key source for consultation when using microdata. It includes survey objectives, methods and design; survey content, data quality and interpretation, output data items and comparability with previous surveys.


The most recent GSS was conducted throughout Australia from March to June 2014. The ABS has been conducting similar surveys on a four year basis since 2002. The microdata products are released approximately 12 months after enumeration is completed.


The microdata contains finer levels of detail of data items than what is otherwise published in other formats. For more information on the level of detail provided, please see the associated data item lists by clicking on the Downloads tab of this product.

Steps to confidentialise microdata are taken in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents selected 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 microdata is available through the following links:

CURF confidentiality
TableBuilder confidentiality


Results from the previous survey on this topic were published in 'Summary Results, Australia, 2010'. Data on earlier topics can be found on the 'Past and future releases' page, or by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey, although sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. Minor changes were made to the survey in 2014 to enhance the quality of the data and to reflect any known changes to social systems being measured. Detailed information on comparisons between iterations is provided in the General Social Survey: User Guide, Australia 2014 (cat. no. 4159.0.55.002)


The information within this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It contains information including; Survey Methodology, File Structure, Using the CURF, Using the TableBuilder, Conditions of Use and the Data Item Lists.

The Explanatory Notes section of the 2014 General Social Survey includes information on survey objectives, survey methods and design, data quality and interpretation, output data items, information about the availability of results and comparability with previous surveys.


Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wishing to access the microdata should read the How to Apply for Microdata web page, before applying for access through MiCRO. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata web pages.

A full list of available microdata can be viewed via the List of expected and available Microdata. More detail regarding types and modes of access to CURFs can be found on the CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail web page.

The GSS 2014 Expanded CURF can be accessed through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL).

Users wishing to access the TableBuilder should read the Registration Basics and How to register web pages, before applying for access through the Registration Centre page.

Any questions regarding access to microdata can be forwarded to microdata.access@abs.gov.au or phone (02) 6252 7714.

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