3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2011   
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The South Australian Health Omnibus Survey (HOS)


The South Australian Health Omnibus Survey (HOS) is administered by the Population Research and Outcomes Studies Unit of The University of Adelaide (since January 2011), and previously by the SA Department of Health.

The HOS is a 'user-pays' service that allows government and non-government organisations in the health sector to share the cost of undertaking a survey to obtain data according to their needs. As such, the HOS covers a range of topics and data items from year to year according to the specific needs of the funding organisations.

The broad goal of the HOS is to collect, analyse and interpret data, which can be used to plan, implement and monitor health programs and other initiatives.

The HOS has been in operation since 1991 and is collected annually each September through to November.


Each HOS surveys around 3,000 respondents aged 15 years and over, in metropolitan and country South Australia.


  • Country of birth
  • Language spoken at home
  • Time in Australia (How long have you lived in Australia?)

Although topics covered by the HOS vary from survey to survey, a common list of topics and data items follows:

Demographic data items:
Marital status, level of education, work status, age, Aboriginal status, occupation, sex, income.

Health data items:
Health service use, health instruments, cancer, chronic conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis), injury, diet and nutrition, immunisation, alcohol consumption, body mass index (height and weight), child abuse/neglect, child health, physical activity, smoking.


Seventy-seven percent of the sample is selected from the Adelaide metropolitan area with the remainder being drawn from those country areas with a population of 1,000 or more (based on Australian Bureau of Statistics 1996 Census information). Postcode data are retained in the data sets provided to user organisations.


During analysis, the survey data are weighted to the sex, age and geographical area profile of the population of interest and the probability of selection within a household so that the survey findings are applicable to that population as a whole. The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Residential Population data are used for the weighting process.

Written reports and data (in SPSS format) from the HOS are provided to the organisations funding the survey. Access to the data is only available by contacting the organisation who owns the data.

Additional details about the HOS are available in a Prospectus. Details on the HOS methodology and how to obtain the Prospectus are available via the 'Data Sources - Health Omnibus' section of the Population Research and Outcome Studies Unit website.

A range of publications and reports are also available on the Population Research and Outcome Studies Unit website.


Population Research and Outcome Studies Unit
Ph: 08 8313 1211
Email: anne.taylor@adelaide.edu.au
Email: eleonora.dalgrande@adelaide.edu.au
Web: http://health.adelaide.edu.au/pros/