6553.0 - Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013-14  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/12/2015   
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The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) provides detailed estimates of household income and wealth collected from individual households. The SIH estimates are used to analyse the distribution of economic resources across the population and to compare the financial resources available to various population subgroups.

The Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) also provides estimates of income and wealth for the household sector as a whole. The ASNA is designed to provide a systematic summary of Australian economic activity and to present a statistical picture of the structure of the economy and the detailed processes that make up domestic production and its distribution. Within the national accounting framework, the data show how the household sector relates to the corporate and government sectors in Australia and enables comparison with the rest of the world.

As the SIH and ASNA estimates of household income and wealth have been developed for different purposes, there are a number of differences in the resulting estimates. This chapter describes and quantifies some of the main scope, definitional and methodological differences between the income and wealth estimates from the two collections.

This combined analysis replaces separate appendices that were previously published in the Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 6523.0) and Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia (cat. no. 6554.0) publications. Further information from the SIH 2011–12 comparisons are available from the ‘Explanatory Notes’ tabs on the ABS web site for these two publications.

The format of the data comparison for SIH 2013–14 has been changed. All tables containing data from the SIH and ASNA comparisons are provided in two data cubes which are available from the 'Downloads' tab of this publication. These data cubes provide the unadjusted SIH and ASNA estimates, tables listing the adjustments undertaken to account for scope and measurement differences between SIH and ASNA, and a comparison of individual income and wealth items.



The ASNA estimates used in this comparison are from the annual publication Australian System of National Accounts, 2013–14 (cat. no. 5204.0). Unpublished estimates from ASNA are also used to better align ASNA and SIH concepts. The ASNA presents aggregate estimates which are compiled from many data sources, mostly statistical surveys or as by-products of government administrative processes. Details of the data sources used to compile the ASNA estimates are available in Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2014 (cat. no. 5216.0).

The unadjusted estimates of income presented in this comparison are from tables 36, 37, 42, 48, and 49 in the data cubes for ASNA, 2013–14 (cat. no. 5204.0).

The ASNA estimates of wealth, are those underlying the household balance sheet presented in table 41 of ASNA, 2013–14 (cat. no. 5204.0), with the memorandum item for consumer durables taken from table 10 of that publication. Balance sheet data are presented with respect to 30 June of each year. To improve comparability with the SIH estimates, ASNA wealth data have been averaged for the two relevant SIH years e.g. 2013–14 is the average of balance sheet estimates for June 2013 and June 2014.


The SIH is conducted biennially and enumerated over a 12 month period.

Income data for the period 2003–04 to 2013–14 are used in this comparison. Estimates for 2003–04, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2011–12 and 2013–14 (SIH years) relate to ‘current’ financial year income which is based on estimates of usual income being received at the time the data were collected from respondents. The SIH also collects full year, or annual income, with respect to the ‘previous’ financial year. Estimates for non-SIH years relate to ‘previous’ financial year income.

Wealth data from the SIH has been collected in every SIH since 2003–04, except in 2007–08. This comparison includes data for the years 2003–04, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2011–12 and 2013–14. Respondents are asked to report the value of their assets and liabilities at the time they are surveyed. Therefore, the wealth estimates in SIH are assumed to relate to the average level of household net worth during that year.