2011.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Products and Services, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/03/2017   
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CENSUS MICRODATA

The ABS is currently reviewing its microdata access services to increase the ease of access to microdata through a wider range of options than is currently available. However, it is anticipated that, as with 2011 Census data, 2016 Census data will be made available in a Census Sample File.

As for 2011, the Census Sample File will contain a small random sample of both private households and persons in non-private dwellings which has been confidentialised to protect the privacy, confidentiality and security of personal data. It will contain Census characteristics for person, family and dwelling variables as follows:

  • Person records including topics such as age, sex, birthplace, language, income and occupation
  • Family records including family income and family type
  • Dwelling records cover topics such as dwelling type and structure, number of bedrooms, housing costs and number of motor vehicles

It is expected that the variables that were available for the 2011 Census will again be available in the 2016 sample file. Some classifications, such as birthplace, industry, occupation and qualification, will continue to be collapsed to less detailed levels to protect the confidentiality of personal data.

The sample file 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, and each request is subject to approval by the ABS before the data can be released.

Special arrangements exist between the ABS and Universities Australia, making confidentialised microdata files, such as the Census Sample File, more readily available to Australian universities for research. It is expected that the 2016 data will be available through this arrangement.

Census microdata is planned for release in 2018. More information on what microdata will be available can be found on the Available microdata page of the ABS website.

For information about pricing, see Microdata prices. Access to Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) is charged per organisation, not per person.

Further information about Census microdata can be found on the Census Sample Files page of the ABS website.