Re-imagining Household Income, Housing, Wealth and Expenditure Data
The ABS is re-imagining how we can deliver more frequent and insightful data on the economic circumstances of households, to better serve users and the community.
Data on these topics are currently available in the following publications:
- Household Income and Wealth
- Household Occupancy and Costs
- Household Financial Resources
- Household Expenditure Survey: Summary of Results
The following surveys are currently used to collect this data:
- Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) - previously run every two years
- Household Expenditure Survey (HES) - previously run every six years
Recent cycles of these surveys have been impacted by several issues:
- increased costs of data collection due to the expensive nature of collecting detailed expenditure data, and predominantly interviewer-based surveys
- data quality impacts of the introduction of online and telephone-based collection approaches
- downstream change and disruption resulting from transition to new data acquisition systems
- changes to collection methods brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic
This re-imagination project commenced in July 2021, initially focussing on HES and then more recently SIH. Initial investigations have included:
- survey re-design
- use of administrative data
- alternative big data sources, such as bank data
In addition, we are applying human-centred design techniques to understand the needs and expectations of data users, and to co-design a solution.
Consultation with Users
In July 2021 we spoke with 93 users, and in October 2021 we approached users again to learn more about their use of HES. The following publications summarise these insights:
Household Expenditure Survey data - Report on user views, July – August 2021
Insights into use of Household Expenditure Survey data, October 2021
- continue to consult with users through the co-design and development of the re-imagined collection.
- keep you informed with updates on the project, household data releases and other relevant information.
If you are interested in sharing your perspective or would like regular updates as part of the Network of Household Economics Statistics Newsletter, please send an email to: email@example.com.
New data developments
The ABS is working to leverage big data sources to gain new insights into household finances. Some examples are:
Monthly Household Spending Indicator, February 2022: the first release of a new experimental indicator using aggregated, de-identified banks transaction data. This indicator will initially be published eight weeks after each month.
- Personal Income in Australia, December 2021: data for 2014-15 to 2018-19 compiled from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED), which is built using Australian Tax Office (ATO) administrative data linked to ABS Business Longitudinal Analytical Data Environment (BLADE).
Using scanner data to estimate household consumption, September 2021: describing how supermarket "scanner data" will be used to produce current price and volume estimates of food consumption for the National Accounts.