2037.0.30.001 - Microdata: Census of Population and Housing, Census Sample File, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2013   
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This product provides information about the release of microdata sample files from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Included are details about the methodology, how to use the the sample files, and the conditions of use. Data item lists and information on the quality of the microdata are also provided.

Microdata are the most detailed information available from a Census and are generally the responses to individual questions on the Census Form or data derived from two or more questions. This level of detail is released with the approval of the Australian Statistician.


The 2011 Census Sample Files (CSFs) are confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) of Census variables. They contain a small random sample of unidentified occupied private dwellings with their associated family and person records, and a random sample of persons from all non-private dwellings together with a record for the associated non-private dwelling. Subject to the limitations of sample size and the data classifications used, the CURF will enable users to tabulate, manipulate and analyse data to their own specifications.

The 1% Basic CURF contains data on 87,798 dwellings, 93,002 families and 215,597 persons. The 5% Expanded CURF contains data on 422,725 dwellings, 450,038 families and 1,083,585 persons.

The data were collected on Census Night, 9 August 2011.


The following microdata products are available from the Census:

  • 1% Basic CURF, available on CD-ROM and through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) or the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL).
  • 5% Expanded CURF, available through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) or the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL).

The CURF is not available on CD-ROM to overseas customers.

Unless otherwise indicated the term CURF has been used to apply to both the Basic and Expanded versions of the CSF.

The 5% Expanded CURF contains similar information to the 1% Basic one, except that some items are shown in more detail and some items are included that are not available on the 1% Basic CURF. Both the 1% and 5% CURFs are available in SAS, SPSS and STATA formats.

Further information about these services, and other information to assist users in understanding and accessing microdata in general, is available from the Microdata Entry Page on the ABS website.

Before applying for access, users should read and familiarise themselves with the information contained in this manual and the User Manual: Responsible Use of ABS CURFs (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003).


To apply for access to the Basic and/or Expanded CURF, register and apply in MiCRO.


Further information about the CSF can be found in this manual:
  • A detailed list of data items for the Basic and Expanded CURFs is available under the Downloads tab.
  • Information on data quality and definitions can be found on the Explanatory Notes tab.


Data obtained in the Census but not contained on the CURF may be available from the ABS, on request, as statistics in tabulated form.

Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, special tabulations can be produced incorporating data items, populations and geographic areas selected to meet individual requirements. These are available on request, on a fee for service basis. Contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or client.services@abs.gov.au for further information.