4914.0.55.001 - Newsletter: Age Matters, Jan 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/01/2007   
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What is a CURF?

A Confidentialised Unit Record File is a file of responses to an ABS survey that has had specific identifying information about a person or organisation confidentialised. Each person's or organisation's response to a survey is called a unit recordor microdata.The ABS ensures the confidentiality of all microdata made available on CURFs. This includes removing all identifying information, including names and addresses. Data items that are most likely to be used for identifying unit records are only released in broad categories. The files are also checked for any records with very unusual responses and these records may be altered slightly to ensure individuals cannot be identified. After the microdata is confidentialised, CURFs are released to authorised clients for approved purposes of statistical analysis and policy research.

Who uses a CURF?

CURF microdata is the most detailed statistical information available from the ABS. CURFs are used widely by universities, government and private sector researchers and analysts. A list of those who currently have access, together with their appointed contact officer, are available on the ABS website, under the Services We Provide heading.

Researchers and analysts are able to run statistical queries on the CURF microdata using SAS, SPSS or Stata software.

What CURF files are relevant to the ageing field?

Almost 80 CURF microdata files are available and come from a wide range of ABS household and labour surveys. Those of significance to older persons and ageing research and policy developers include:

Title (Year of most recent survey) and Level of Detail

  • Australian Housing Survey (1999) Basic*
  • Australians' Employment and Unemployment Patterns (1994-97) Basic* and Expanded
  • Census 2001 - Household Sample File (2001) Basic* and Expanded
  • Disability, Ageing and Carers (2003) Basic*
  • Education and Training (2005) Basic* and Expanded
  • Education and Work (2005) Basic
  • Families in Australia (1992) Basic
  • Family Characteristics Survey (2003) Expanded
  • Forms of Employment (1998) Basic
  • General Social Survey (2002) Basic* and Expanded
  • Household Expenditure Survey (1993-94) Basic*
  • Household Expenditure Survey Second Edition (1998-99) Basic*
  • Household Expenditure Survey and the Survey of Income and Housing (HES/SIH) (2003-04) Basic* and Expanded
  • Income and Housing Survey (1981-82) Basic*
  • Income Distribution Survey (1986) Basic*
  • Income and Housing Costs Survey (2000-01) Basic* and Expanded
  • Income and Housing Survey (2002-03) Basic* and Expanded
  • Income and Housing Survey and the Household Expenditure Survey (HES/SIH) (2003-04) Basic* and Expanded
  • Labour Force Survey and Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership (August 2004) Basic*
  • Labour Mobility (1994) Basic*
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults, Australia, Second Revised (1997) Basic*
  • Multi Purpose Household Survey (2004-05) Expanded
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (2004-05) Expanded
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey (1994) Basic* and Expanded
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (2002) Expanded
  • National Crime and Safety Survey (2005) Expanded
  • National Health Survey (2004-05) Basic* and Expanded
  • National Health Survey, Indigenous (2001) Expanded
  • National Nutrition Survey (1995) Basic*
  • Personal Safety Survey (2005) Expanded
  • Superannuation and Employment Arrangements Survey (2000) Expanded
  • Time Use Survey (1997) Basic* and Expanded
  • Voluntary Work Survey (2000) Basic
  • Women's Safety Survey (1996) Basic*

Content information including Technical Manual/Information Paper for each CURF is available on the ABS website. All Basic CURF Microdata is available on CD-ROM. Basic CURF Microdata marked with an * is also available via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and via the ABS Site Data Laboratory (ABSDL). Expanded CURF Microdata is only available via the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) and the ABS Site Data Laboratory (ABSDL).