4715.0.55.001 - Microdata: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Australia, 2018-19 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2019   
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Using DataLab

The DataLab environment allows real time access to detailed microdata files from the 2018–19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey through a portal to a secure ABS environment. The level of detail provided within the DataLab exceeds that previously provided in the Expanded CURF and provides researchers greater access to the data.

The DataLab is an interactive data analysis solution available for users to run advanced statistical analyses, for example, multiple regressions and structural equation modelling. The DataLab environment contains up-to-date versions of SPSS, Stata, SAS and R analytical languages. Controls in the DataLab have been put in place to protect the identification of individuals and organisations. All output from DataLab sessions is cleared by an ABS officer before it is released.

For more information about the DataLab, please see the About the DataLab page.

The Expanded CURF and the use of the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) have been discontinued for this collection. Users are encouraged to consider the DataLab as an improved mechanism to access detailed microdata.

DataLab test file

Two test files have been created to enable researchers and analysts to become more familiar with the data structure and prepare code and programs before applying for or beginning a DataLab session.

The test files do not contain real data, and cannot be used for analysis. They mimic the structure of the detailed microdata in that they have the same data items and allowed values.

A Selected Person level and Household level test file are available as free downloads from the Downloads section.

Counts and weights

The following table shows the number of records on each level and the weighted counts, where applicable.

Record counts
Weighted counts
(if applicable)

1. Household
2. Selected person
3. Alcohol - Day consumed
4. Alcohol - Type consumed
5. Binge - Type consumed
6. Conditions
7. Medications
8. Hearing

There are three weight variables on the detailed microdata files:
  • Household weight (FINHHWT) - benchmarked to produce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander household estimates.
  • Person weight (FINPERWT) - benchmarked to the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
  • Hearing weight (FINHEAWT) - must be used whenever an item is used from the hearing level.

The weighted counts for the selected person and the hearing level are the same. This is because only a maximum of one hearing test was counted for each person. However, the hearing weight must be used whenever an item is used from the hearing level. If the correct weight is not used, the errors associated with the data will be incorrect.

There is no weight associated with the other levels. This is because the records are repeated for each person. If, for example, FINPERWT is merged onto the Conditions level, it will be attached to each condition record and therefore be repeated for each person where they have more than one condition.


Every record on each level of the file is uniquely identified. The identifiers ABSHIDD, ABSPID, ABSDID, ABSTID, ABSCID, ABSMID, ABSBID and ABSXID appear on all levels of the file. Where the information for the identifier is not relevant for a level, it has a value of 0. See the data item list for details on which identifier equates to which level.

Each household has a unique thirteen digit random identifier, ABSHIDD. This identifier appears on the household level and is repeated on each level on each record pertaining to that household. The combination of identifiers uniquely identifies a record at a particular level as shown below:

1. Household = ABSHIDD
2. Selected person = ABSHIDD + ABSPID
3. Alcohol - Day consumed = ABSHIDD + ABSPID + ABSDID
4. Alcohol - Type consumed = ABSHIDD + ABSPID + ABSDID + ABSTID
5. Binge - Type consumed = ABSHIDD + ABSPID + ABSBID
6. Conditions = ABSHIDD + ABSPID + ABSCID
7. Medications = ABSHIDD + ABSPID + ABSMID

The household record identifier, ABSHIDD, assists with linking people from the same household, and also with household characteristics such as geography (located on the household level) to the person records.

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