6523.0 - Household Income and Wealth, Australia, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/09/2015   
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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 over 97% of the people living in private dwellings in Australia.

The principal objective is to facilitate the analysis and monitoring of the social and economic welfare of Australian residents 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; and
  • understand the effects of taxation and income support systems on the wellbeing of people and households.
Housing data are used for:
  • housing affordability studies;
  • analysis of housing occupancy, including levels of home ownership and housing utilisation; and
  • comparison of the housing costs by tenure type.


The SIH is conducted every two years. The 2013–14 SIH collected information over the period July 2013 to June 2014.

The first results from the 2013–14 survey were released on 4th September 2015. Subsequent outputs, including feature articles, other publications and Confidentialised Unit Record Files will be released in late 2015.


Final sample

In 2013–14, the SIH sample size decreased from 14,569 households in 2011–12 to 14,162 households in 2013–14 due to a small decline in response rates and increase in sample loss. The expansion of the 2009–10 sample for an extra 4,200 households located outside capital cities to better support COAG performance reporting was maintained.

The final sample on which estimates are based is composed of persons for whom all necessary information is available. Of the selected dwellings, there were 18,249 in the scope of the survey, of which 14,162 were included as part of the final estimates. To account in part for non-response, SIH data are weighted by: state; part of state; age; sex; labour force status; number of households; and household composition.

To address partial non-response, data were imputed for missing fields. The final SIH sample includes 5,613 households which had at least one imputed value in income, assets and liabilities, or child care expenses. For 40% of these households only a single module was missing 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).

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


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 2013–14 SIH data, with 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. 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.
    The SIH provides baseline income and wealth information which provides a comparison point for other ABS and external surveys. Selected comparisons with other ABS sources are provided in a datacube available from the ‘Downloads’ tab of this publication.


    This publication brings together information that was previously published in two separate releases – Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 6523.0) and Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 6554.0). The summary of findings and data cubes from both these previous publication have been combined to facilitate a simultaneous analysis of household income and wealth.

    Detailed information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with the SIH can be found in the Explanatory Notes and Glossary included with this publication.


    Tabulated data and associated RSEs are available in Excel spreadsheets which can be accessed from the 'Downloads' tab.

    A Basic and Expanded confidentialised unit record file (CURF) will be produced from the SIH, subject to the approval of the Australian Statistician. The Basic CURF will be available on CD-ROM and via Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL), and the Expanded CURF will be available via RADL and ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website. It is expected that the Basic and Expanded CURF will be available in late 2015.

    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 confidentialised. A data item list is available from the 'Downloads' tab of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (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.