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USING THE CURF
While CURFs provide a great deal of flexibility, limitations on analysis can be impacted by factors such as sample size, the data classifications used, and conditions of use for the file.
The 2013–14 SIH CURFs are released under the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The act allows for the release of unit record data, provided this information is not likely to identify an individual person or organisation. As a result there are no names or addresses of survey respondents on the CURFs. Other steps, including the following list of actions, have been taken to protect the confidentiality of respondents. The 2013–14 SIH CURFs contain unit records relating to most survey respondents.
Protective provisions include:
As a result of these protective measures, population estimates obtained from the CURFs are slightly different to the other 2013–14 SIH publications (Household Income and Wealth, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6523.0) and Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2013–14 (cat. no. 4130.0)). Variation in key items and populations are addressed in the CURF sample reconciliation tabulations document available from the Downloads tab. These tables provide a guide to the difference between CURFs and the unconfidentialised file, using indicators such as mean, median and population estimates.
Steps to confidentialise the datasets that are available on the CURFs are taken for three main purposes:
NOTES ON SPECIFIC DATA ITEMS
The data items included on the CURFs, and the categories within the data items, differ between the Basic and Expanded CURFs. The Expanded CURFs contain more variables than the Basic CURFs as well as more detailed data for selected variables. The data item list also shows the differences between 2013–14 SIH Basic and Expanded CURFs. Many of the differences result from the difference in the maximum household size permitted on each CURF.
A complete list of the data items available on each record level for the CURFs, including relevant population and classification details, is available from the Downloads tab.
Many of the data items included on the CURFs are self-explanatory. The Glossary in the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6553.0) provides links to terms and definitions for most of the survey's data items. However, some items that require further explanation are defined below.
There are several identifiers on records at each level of the file.
Each household has a unique random identifier. This identifier appears on the household level (ABSHID), and is repeated on the income unit, person, expenditure and loans level records relating to that household.
Each family within the household is numbered sequentially. Non family members, single person households and persons in group households have a sequential "family number" commencing at 50. Family number (ABSFID) appears on the income unit level and the person level. The combination of household and family number uniquely identifies a family.
A family has one or more income units and each income unit within the family is numbered sequentially. Income unit number (ABSIID) appears on the income unit level and the person level. The combination of household, family and income unit number uniquely identifies an income unit.
An income unit has one or more persons and each person within the income unit is numbered sequentially. Person number (ABSPID) appears on the person level. The combination of household, family, income unit and person number uniquely identifies a person.
A household may have one or more loans and each loan within the household is numbered sequentially. Loan number (ABSLID) appears on the loans level. The combination of a household and loan number uniquely identifies a loan.
To enable CURF users greater flexibility in their analyses, the ABS has included two Socio-economic Indexes For Area (SEIFA) and several sub-state geography items on the Expanded 2013–14 CURFs. 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, 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.
The person level records contain detailed information on income, based on the source from which the survey respondent receives their income. The income unit and household level records contain information at a broader level. If detailed information is required for income analyses at the income unit or household level, this can be calculated by using the person level information for each income unit or household. Income is recorded on both a 'current' and a 'previous financial year' basis. For more information about current and previous financial year income, see Current, annual and weekly income in the Income section of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Where possible, supplementary items have been included on the file which replicate the content of the items that have been included on previous issues of the SIH CURFs. The SIH files include two income aggregates, "Total current weekly income from all sources" and "Total current weekly income from all sources (2005–06 basis)".
'Total current weekly income from all sources'
The publications relating to the 2013–14 SIH use this measure of income. It is consistent with the measure of income used since 2007–08.
The component items of "Total current weekly income from all sources" are:
'Total current weekly income from all sources (2005-06 basis)'
This measure of income is comparable to that used in the publications relating to the 2005–06 survey however, there are some differences related to changes and improvements in the collection of information about sources of income that were introduced in 2007–08. The differences are the use of improved reported income from trusts and the inclusion of a broader measure of income from family members outside the household instead of restriction to regular, cash income from persons outside the household.
The component items of "Total current weekly income from all sources (2005–06 basis)" in 2013–14 are:
Previous financial year exclusion flag
The previous financial year exclusion flag at the person level (FINSCOPE) has a value of 1 for females whose family situation changed since 1 July 2010 (by moving in with a new partner, separating from a partner or becoming widowed). This also applies to persons who arrived in Australia during 2013–14. At the income unit level a value of 1 in the previous financial year exclusion flag (FINSCOPU) indicates income units where the reference person or spouse has a FINSCOPE value of 1. At the household level, the previous financial year exclusion flag (FINSCOPH) indicates households where the reference person, or spouse, has a FINSCOPE value of 1. Users analysing income data from the previous financial year may exclude these records from their analysis (by limiting their analysis to records where FINSCOPE is equal to 2).
Assets and liabilities
The 2013–14 survey collected information on a comprehensive range of household assets and liabilities to enable analysis of net worth and its components across households. Similar data was collected for 2003–04, 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011-12.
Weekly housing costs included on previous SIH CURFs and used in the publication Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2013–14 (cat. no. 4130.0) is labelled on the 2013–14 CURFs as "Weekly housing costs (SIHC basis) - HH" and has the field name HCOSTSH. The component items are:
Note that the mortgage and loan repayments in the items listed above are allocated according to the main purpose of the loan. For example, if a loan was taken out primarily to buy a dwelling, but part of it was used to purchase a car, the entire repayment amount is included in housing costs.
In the 2013–14 publications, housing costs have continued to be measured using HCOSTSH, in order to provide comparability with earlier issues.
However, in SIH surveys since 2003–04, extra information on housing costs has been collected.
A number of other related items are included on the CURF:
The SIH CURFs include experimental estimates of imputed rent for owner-occupied dwellings. The imputation has also been applied to other housing tenures in order to value the in-kind benefit conferred to households paying subsidised rent or households occupying their dwelling rent free. Including imputed rent as part of household income and expenditure conceptually treats owner-occupiers as if they were renting their home from themselves, thus simultaneously incurring rental expenditure and earning rental income. Inclusion of imputed rent estimates in income measures is in accordance with international standards for household income statistics, and provides a broader picture of the economic well-being of owner-occupier households and their social and economic circumstances relative to other households.
The imputed rent experimental estimates have been included on the SIH CURFs. Two household level variables are included, 'Weekly gross imputed rent - IR' and 'Weekly HH income from net imputed rent - IR'. Gross imputed rent is the market value of the rental equivalent, and has been estimated using hedonic regression. Net imputed rent for owner occupiers has been derived by subtracting the housing costs normally paid by landlords (i.e. rates, mortgage interest, insurance, repairs and maintenance) from gross imputed rent. Income totals incorporating the imputed rent estimates have not been included. Users wishing to analyse the effect of imputed rent on income should add net imputed rent to household income. When analysing household expenditure, gross imputed rent should be added and any housing costs normally paid by a landlord should be deducted. For further information refer to the Imputed Rent section of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Social transfers in kind
The SIH CURFs include estimates of social transfers in kind at the household level. Social transfers in kind consist of goods and services provided free or at subsidised prices by the government. Information reported in the SIH was used as the basis for allocating government social transfers in kind to households based on the composition of households and the characteristics of their members. The value of government social transfers in kind for education, health, housing, social security and welfare, and electricity concessions and rebates (indirect benefits) is added to disposable income to derive disposable income plus social transfers in kind. Final income is equal to disposable income plus social transfers in kind less taxes on production. For further information refer to the Social transfers in kind section of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Imputation flags exist for each module in the questionnaire, rather than for specific data items. A value of 1 indicates partial imputation where at least one question in the module was imputed. Referring to the contents of the questionnaire module can provide an indication of whether particular data items may have included imputed data. The number of flags with a value of 1 for a particular record provides an indication of the extent of imputation in that record. For further explanation of imputation flags, see the Data collection and processing section of the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2013–14 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Multiple response data items
A number of topics in 2013–14 SIH contain multiple response data items, including housing, child care, disability and superannuation. In these instances, respondents were able to select one or more response category within a question.
Using child care as an example, in these items the output data is multi-response in nature. Child care data items on the Basic and Expanded CURFs are:
These items capture multiple responses where a person provides more than one type of child care. The first response is captured in the first, or 'A', position (e.g. TYPFCIUA), and additional responses are in the second and then third and higher, or 'B' and 'C' and higher, positions (e.g. TYPFCIUB, TYPFCIUC). If only one response is possible, for example 'none of the above' then this response may also appear in the 'A' position. Where a data item does not apply, (e.g. an income unit does not use child care) then a value of 9 or 99 for 'Not applicable' will appear in the first position (e.g. TYPFCIUA). The 'Null response' (value of 0 or 00) is a default code and should be ignored. All of these categories should be used in analysis. For specific information on the number of item repeats and the category labels and values refer to the data item list available from the Downloads tab.
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