4177.0.55.002 - Microdata: Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/05/2013   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All




The data included in the 2011–12 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation Expanded CURF are released under the provisions of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. This legislation allows the Australian Statistician to release unit record data, or microdata, provided that it is done "in a manner that is not likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation to which it relates".

The ABS ensures confidentiality of the data by:

  • removing name, address and any other information that might uniquely identify an individual
  • changing a small number of values - particularly unusual values - and removing very unusual records
  • controlling the detail available for all records on the CURF
  • excluding some data items that were collected
  • controlling the modes of access and restricting access to more detailed data
  • placing restrictions on how the data are used, supported by both information in the User Manual: Responsible Use of ABS CURFs, the undertaking signed by the head of each organisation and the terms and conditions signed by each user.
As a result, data on the CURF will not exactly match other previously published estimates. Any changes to the distribution of values are not significant and the statistical validity of aggregate data is not affected.


Person level identifier

Each person has a unique random identifier - referred to as ABSPID. This identifier appears on the person level and is repeated on each of the episodic levels thus linking these data to each person.

Episodic (Activity) level identifiers

As well as the unique person identifier, each episodic level also includes other identifiers that are system requirements for RADL purposes only. These identifiers number each episodic record sequentially for each person (i.e. 1,2,3,4,.....). Each of these identifiers are present on all levels and are set to zero on all levels other than their own. For tabulation purposes these identifiers are meaningless and should not be used.

Copying information across levels

Identifiers can be used to copy information from one level of the file to another. A person level data item such as age (AGECE) can be copied to the activity level to enable, for example, a table of 'Type of sport X Age' to be created. The following SAS code (or equivalent) can be used to copy information from the person level to the episodic level.








IF A AND B THEN OUTPUT; *Only keeps records which are present on both files;


The KEEP statement includes all person data items specified to be merged on to the episodic level file.

Episodic level characteristics should not be merged on to the Person file.


Two separate files (also referred to as levels) make up the 2011–12 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation Expanded CURF. These are:
  • Person level file
  • Activity level file.

Further information about the the levels is available in File Structure.

The 2011–12 Expanded CURF can be accessed on the RADL or ABSDL and is available in SAS, SPSS and STATA formats. The CURF comprises the following files:

Data files

Person level files
  • sps11ep.sas7bdat contains the data for the CURF in SAS format
  • sps11ep.sav contains the data for the CURF in SPSS format
  • sps11ep.dta contains the data for the CURF in STATA format

Activity level files
  • sps11ee.sas7bdat contains the data for the CURF in SAS format
  • sps11ee.sav contains the data for the CURF in SPSS format
  • sps11ee.dta contains the data for the CURF in STATA format

Information files
  • CURF Data Item List - contains all the data items, including details of categories and code values, that are available on the Expanded CURF.
  • SPS11EP_Frequencies.txt - contains weighted and unweighted frequency counts for all person level data items.
  • SPS11EE_Frequencies.txt - containts weighted and unweighted frequency counts for all activity level data items.
  • Formats.sasb7cat - the SAS format file which provides labels for associated code values in the SAS version of the CURF.


A number of questions included in the survey allowed respondents to provide one or more responses. On the Expanded CURF, each response category for one of these 'multi-response questions' (or data items) is treated as a separate data item. These data items have the same general data item identifier (SASName) but are each suffixed with a letter – A for the first response, B for the second response, C for the third response, D for the fourth response and so on.

For example, the multi-response data item 'Facilities used for participation in sport/physical recreation in last 12 months' (with a general SASName of ALLFAC – See data item list), has 5 response categories. Consequently, 5 data items have been produced - ALLFACA, ALLFACB, ALLFACC, ALLFACD and ALLFACE. Each data item, except for ALLFACA, will have a corresponding value against the relevant response with the remaining values corresponding to a 'Null response'. The 'Null response', generally a value of 0 or 00, is a default code and should be ignored. In the case of the A position (i.e. ALLFACA), this also includes the 'Not applicable' category (generally a value of 9 or 99) which comprises those persons who were not asked the particular question.

It should be noted that the sum of individual multi-response categories will be greater than the population or number of people applicable to the particular data item as respondents are able to select more than one response. Multi-response data items can be identified in the data item list as SASNames followed by a range of letters in brackets; for example, ALLFAC (A-E).


To enable analysis at a regional level, each record contains a state/territory identifier and two sub-state identifiers – Area of usual residence and Remoteness area. More information on the geographic data items is available in the data item lists on the Downloads tab.

Conditions of use of Socio-economic Index For Areas (SEIFA) and Geographic Data Items

To provide CURF users with greater flexibility in their analyses, the ABS has included one SEIFA and several sub-state geography data items (as described above). For this CURF, the Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage, in deciles, has been included.

Conditions are placed on the use of these items. Tables showing multiple data items, cross tabulated by more than one sub-state geography at a time (including SEIFA), are not permitted due to the detailed information about small geographic regions that could be presented. However, simple cross-tabulations of population counts by sub-state geographic data items may be useful for clients in order to determine which geography item to include in their primary analysis, and such output is permitted.


While the 2011–12 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation Survey is generally comparable with the 2005–06 and 2009–10 iterations, there are some differences. The 2005–06 survey collected information on the motivators and constraints of non-participants and low level participants. This information was replaced in 2009–10 and 2011–12 with questions on types of facilities used for sport and physical activities. However, the types of facilities that were asked about in 2011–12 differ from the facilities covered in 2009–10, and therefore comparisons are not possible.

Care should be taken when comparing data for the Northern Territory across the 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011–12 surveys, as sample sizes limit the reliability of the estimates particularly at a detailed level.

There have been changes to the definition of several sports and physical recreation activities. Estimates for Dancing/Ballet and Gymnastics should not be compared with previous surveys. The following sports and physical recreation activities are separately identified in the 2011-12 survey: Aerobics; Fitness/Gym; Football sports; Scuba diving/Snorkelling; and Weightlifting/Bodybuilding. These activities should not be compared with previous surveys. For further information, see the Changes to sport types.

The 2009–10 CURF includes microdata relating to the three topics: 'Participation in sport and physical recreation', 'Spectator attendance at sporting events' and 'Attendance at cultural venues and events', while the 2011–12 CURF includes microdata on only 'Participation in sport and physical recreation'. The 2009–10 Expanded CURF consists of four data files – one file comprising data items relating to persons, one file comprising data items relating to each individual sport or physical recreation activity participated in by each respondent, one file relating to each individual sporting event attended by each respondent and one file relating to each individual cultural venue and event attended by each respondent. The 2011–12 Expanded CURF consists of two data files - one file comprising data items relating to persons and one file comprising data items relating to each individual sport or physical recreation activity participated in by each respondent.