6541.0.30.001 - Microdata: Income and Housing, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/10/2013   
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Overview of the Survey
Changes in this Cycle
User Guide


The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) collects detailed information about income and personal and household characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over resident in private dwellings throughout Australia. The survey provides detailed information about: demographic and socio-economic characteristics, including education and labour force status; income amounts and sources; housing characteristics, including tenure, dwelling type and housing costs; and child care use and costs. The 2011–12 SIH also provides detailed information about assets and liabilities.

The SIH is currently conducted every 2 years. It is integrated with the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) whenever the HES is run (currently every 6 years). The SIH and HES were last integrated in 2009–10, and are next scheduled to be integrated in 2015–16.

The 2011–12 SIH was conducted on a sample of dwellings throughout Australia from July 2011 to June 2012. These dwellings were selected through a stratified, multistage cluster design. The sample excluded non-private dwellings and dwellings in very remote areas. Selections were distributed across a twelve month enumeration period so that the survey results are representative of income patterns across the year.

Information was collected from all persons aged 15 years and over in selected households. Computer assisted interviewing was used to conduct household and personal interviews. Information from 14,569 households was included in the final estimates.


The 2011–12 SIH content was largely similar to the 2009–10 SIH with some changes in questions, definitions and methodology. Key changes to the 2011–12 SIH include:

  • the 2009–10 SIH was integrated with the Household Expenditure Survey while the 2011–12 SIH was run as a stand alone survey
  • a decrease in fully responding sample size from 18,071 households in 2009–10 to 14,569 households in 2011–12. The expansion in the 2009–10 sample for an extra 4,200 households outside capital cities to support housing indicator reporting was maintained. The additional sample of metropolitan households whose main source of income was a government pension, benefit and/or allowance included in the 2009–10 SIH and HES samples to improve analysis for the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index was not maintained
  • an additional benchmark for the value of government benefit cash transfers used in 2009–10 was not required in 2011–12
  • disability questions for persons aged 15 years and over were not asked in 2011–12, but will be collected in 2013–14
  • Child Care Rebate (CCR) and Child Care Benefit (CCB) have been modelled to improve estimates of both the payment amounts and the number of households receiving assistance
  • selected social transfers in kind variables have been modelled in 2011–12.

Comparisons with previous SIH CURFs and more detail about changes to specific data items are provided in the Data Item List available from the Downloads tab.


Users of the microdata should also refer to the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 6553.0) for more information to assist in using the survey data, including concepts, definitions, methodology, data collection and processing, final sample sizes, and estimation and analysis techniques.

The remaining sections in this product provide information specifically relevant to using the microdata release files.