2011.0 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing -- Proposed Products and Services, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/07/2010   
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Census Sample File (CSF)

What is it?

The Census Sample File (CSF) is a comprehensive Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) of Census variables, containing a small random sample of private households and associated persons, and a small random sample of persons in non-private dwellings. It is expected that for 2011 both the 1% and 5% sample will be produced.

Plans are in the
early stages and will be subject to ABS polices surrounding the release of microdata. We will be consulting further with existing users of the 2006 CSFs to get feedback on how we can improve the products for the 2011 Census.

At this stage we expect to make the CSF available in the full range of ABS microdata release channels including:
  • CD-ROM (1% only),
  • the Remote Access Data Laboratory, and
  • the Australian Bureau of Statistics Data Laboratory.
For further information see the Accessing CURF Microdata page.

What does it include?

The CSF will contain information relating to persons, families and dwellings.
  • The person record includes age, sex, birthplace, language, income, occupation, qualifications and labour force characteristics.
  • The family record includes family income and family type.
  • The dwelling record covers topics such as dwelling type and structure, number of bedrooms, housing costs and number of motor vehicles.
Detailed technical documentation will be provided with the CSF.

Most of the variables available from the 2011 Census will be available on the CSF. However, some classifications, such as birthplace, industry, occupation and qualification are collapsed to less detailed levels, in order to protect the confidentiality of personal data.

Who is it for?

The CSF is aimed at advanced users of Census data and is released under strict access conditions. Clients are required to sign an undertaking stating that the information will only be used for statistical purposes.

Each request is subject to the approval by the Australian Statistician before the CSF can be released.

Previous users of the CSF include:
  • university staff and students
  • commercial clients
  • State Government users
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • private sector.
Special arrangements exist between the ABS and Universities Australia, making CURFs, such as the CSF, more readily available to Australian universities for research. It is expected that the 2011 CSF will be available through this arrangement.

When will it be available?

Census Sample FileFirst data release
1% BasicTBC
5% ExpandedTBC

How much will it cost?

The price is yet to be determined.