ABS Time Series Directory

User assistance for the Time Series Directory, machine to machine access to ABS time series metadata.

The ABS provides an API for querying & returning a user defined subset of ABS time series metadata. The API is designed to be used in a machine-to-machine context. The metadata returned from a query can be, and is typically used to facilitate the automated download of the ABS time series spreadsheet/s associated with the parameters defined in that query.

Key information

Time series metadata can be accessed using a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) formula to query the ABS Time Series Directory service. This enables access to time series metadata without having to download time series spreadsheets. The metadata returned is in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format, and provides a single source of time series information at the granular level of individual time series. The information returned includes metadata already available on time series spreadsheets provided on the ABS web site, as well as statistical product relationships and URLs to the actual spreadsheets.

See the List of Topics in the Time Series Directory section for a listing of available statistical topics by title and catalogue number.

Using the Time Series Directory

1. Start with the base url


2. Append any combination of the available search parameters to the base url


  • ptitle = Topic
  • ttitle = Table title
  • sid = Series ID
  • catno = Catalogue/Product number
  • pg = Page number

Search parameters can be combined using '&' to customise your query.


https://abs.gov.au/servlet/TSSearchServlet?catno=6401.0&ttitle="table 5"
combines the catno= and ttitle= search values to return all time series metadata from table 5 in catalogue number 6401.0.

Search value formats:


  • each word separated by a space will be searched for in the index. So using:
    ptitle=Labour Force
    in the parameter list will return all series that are related to Products with 'Labour' or 'Force' in the Product Title.
  • a phrase enclosed in inverted commas will be searched for as a single value. eg.
    ptitle="Labour Force"
    will return all series that are related to Products with 'Labour Force' in the Product Title.


  • each value will be treated as an distinct word, unless * is used at the end of the value. So:
    will only return results that contain the distinct word 'count' in the Table Title. So the correct way to return all table titles that contain 'country' would be to use:
  • Only the start of independent words can be searched for. So using:
    will fail. It is not possible to prefix the value 'count' with * and receive results where the Table Title contains words like 'Accounting'
  • capitalisation is ignored
  • The query engine drops commonly occurring words like "the", "an", "a", "of", "in", etc. So:
    will be ignored.


  • use the complete Series ID, eg.
    will return only the series information for Series ID = A183774X
  • use the start of the Series ID, eg.
    will return series information for all series that have Series ID beginning with 'A1837'
  • capitalisation is ignored


  • use the complete Catalogue/Product Number, eg.
    will return series information for all series that relate to Product Number 6401.0
  • use the start of a catalogue/product number, eg.
    will return series information for all series that relate to Product Numbers beginning with '62' such as '6202.0' and '6248.0.55.001'.


  • Results are returned in pages of 100 series. The number of results are displayed at the top of each xml page, eg.

    <Info>Your search returned 6824 series information. If you want access to the rest please add a pg parameter to the url.</Info>SeriesCount>100</SeriesCount>
  • The default page number is 1. So adding:
    to your query parameter list will cause the series results numbered 301-400 to be displayed. <CurPage>4</CurPage> will be displayed at the top of the page 4.

3. Time series metadata will be returned in XML format

XML format examples:

(Note that multiple <series> nodes may be returned between the <TimeSeriesIndex> tags.)

For less than 100 series returned:


For more than 100 series returned:

     <Info>Your search returned x series information. If you want access to the rest please add a pg parameter to the url.</Info>

List of Topics in the Time Series Directory

TopicCatalogue number
Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers5232.0.55.001
Australian Industry8155.0
Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth5232.0
Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product5206.0
Australian National Accounts: State Accounts5220.0
Australian System of National Accounts5204.0
Average Weekly Earnings, Australia6302.0
Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia5302.0
Building Activity, Australia8752.0
Building Approvals, Australia8731.0
Business Indicators, Australia5676.0
Construction Activity: Chain Volume Measures, Australia8782.0.65.001 (Ceased)
Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary8755.0
Consumer Price Index, Australia6401.0
Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits8165.0
Engineering Construction Activity, Australia8762.0
Estimated dwelling stock8701.0
House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities6416.0 (Ceased)
Industrial Disputes, Australia6321.0.55.001
International Merchandise Trade, Preliminary, Australia5368.0.55.024 (Ceased)
International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia5368.0
International Trade Price Indexes, Australia6457.0
Job Vacancies, Australia6354.0
Labour Account Australia6150.0.55.003
Labour Force, Australia6202.0
Labour Force, Australia, Detailed6291.0.55.001
Lending Indicators5601.0
Livestock and Meat, Australia - Electronic Publication7218.0.55.001 (Ceased)
Livestock Products, Australia7215.0
Managed Funds, Australia5655.0
Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia8412.0
Modellers' Database1364.0.15.003
Monthly Business Turnover Indicator5681.0
Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator6484.0
Monthly Household Spending Indicator5682.0
National, state and territory population3101.0
Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia3401.0
Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories3201.0 (Final issue - June 2010)
Population Projections, Australia3222.0
Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia5625.0
Producer Price Indexes, Australia6427.0
Public sector employment and earnings6248.0.55.002
Retail Trade, Australia8501.0
Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia6467.0 
Total Value of Dwellings6432.0
Wage Price Index, Australia6345.0


Catalogue NumberTopic
1364.0.15.003Modellers' Database
3101.0National, state and territory population
3201.0 (Ceased)Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories
3222.0Population Projections, Australia
3401.0Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia
5204.0Australian System of National Accounts
5206.0Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product
5220.0Australian National Accounts: State Accounts
5232.0Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth
5232.0.55.001Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers
5302.0Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia
5368.0International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia
5368.0.55.024International Merchandise Trade, Preliminary, Australia
5601.0Lending Indicators
5625.0Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia
5655.0Managed Funds, Australia
5676.0Business Indicators, Australia
5681.0Monthly Business Turnover Indicator
5682.0Monthly Household Spending Indicator
6202.0Labour Force, Australia
6150.0.55.003Labour Account Australia
6248.0.55.002Public sector employment and earnings
6291.0.55.001Labour Force, Australia, Detailed
6302.0Average Weekly Earnings, Australia
6321.0.55.001Industrial Disputes, Australia
6345.0Wage Price Index, Australia
6354.0Job Vacancies, Australia
6401.0Consumer Price Index, Australia
6416.0 (Ceased)House Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities
6427.0Producer Price Indexes, Australia
6432.0Total Value of Dwellings
6457.0International Trade Price Indexes, Australia
6467.0 Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia
6484.0Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator
7215.0Livestock Products, Australia
7218.0.55.001 (Ceased)Livestock and Meat, Australia - Electronic Publication
8155.0Australian Industry
8165.0Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits
8412.0Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia
8501.0Retail Trade, Australia
8701.0Estimated dwelling stock
8731.0Building Approvals, Australia
8752.0Building Activity, Australia
8755.0Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary
8762.0Engineering Construction Activity, Australia
8782.0.65.001 (Ceased)Construction Activity: Chain Volume Measures, Australia


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