Main source of household income (administrative data) (HSAD)
This variable indicates the main source of income that a household received. This is based on all income recorded in administrative data for the 2020/2021 financial year of residents aged 15 years or older who were present in the household on Census Night.
This variable wasn’t derived from data collected on the Census form but has been created by linking administrative data from the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) data asset to the Census.
Occupied private dwellings
|0||Nil or negative income|
|1||Employee wages and salary|
|2||Government benefits and allowances|
|3||Own unincorporated business income|
|9||Admin not available|
Number of categories: 9
Admin not available (9) category comprises:
- Households where no persons were able to be linked to MADIP, and therefore the household did not have any administrative income information available
Not applicable (@) category comprises:
- Non-private dwellings
- Unoccupied private dwellings
- Migratory, off-shore and shipping SA1s
- Other non-classifiable households
How this variable is created
This variable wasn’t derived from data collected on the Census form but has been created by linking administrative data from the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) data asset to the Census. The MADIP data asset contains administrative income data from the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Social Services, this is the source data for this variable.
This variable is calculated based on all income recorded in administrative data for the 2020/2021 financial year of residents aged 15 years or older who were present in the household on Census Night (see HIAASD). This includes households where one or more residents did not have income information available in administrative data or where one or more residents was absent from the dwelling on Census Night.
The main source of income is the category with the largest total income recorded. This variable does not record the dollar amount of income earned; it records what the main source of income is.
For example, a household may have earned substantial income from a salary and received a small amount of additional income from investments. This variable only records the main source of their income, in this case a salary.
In the case of a household receiving the same amount of income from two or more sources, the main source of income was selected by choosing the income type which was higher in the following ranked list:
- Employee wages and salary
- Government benefits and allowances
- Own unincorporated business income
- Superannuation income
- Investment income
- Other income
History and changes
This is a new variable for 2021.
Data use considerations
This variable provides an alternative, more detailed view on income than income data collected in the Census. It is based on income information recorded in linked administrative data, and not data collected from a Census question.
Superannuation income in administrative data
The administrative data used to derive this variable had limited coverage of income from superannuation, because many superannuation payments are not required to be reported annually to the Australian Taxation Office.
This means that we have under-recorded the amount of income households received from superannuation. In these cases the main source of household income would either be set to another income type (where the household also received income from another source) or income for this household would be incorrectly set to Nil.
This has resulted in a known undercount of the number of households with superannuation as their main source of household income, and an overcount of the number of households with other income types as their main source of household income.
Comparison to other ABS Surveys
Although other ABS surveys, such as the Survey of Income and Housing and Personal Income in Australia, collect similar data relating to household income, they are not directly comparable. This is due to differences in scope, collection methodology, collection period, and conceptual differences. It is likely that data from each of these collections will deliver different outcomes making it important for data users to understand the key conceptual differences between each collection to use it most appropriately.
Related variables and glossary terms
- Main source of personal income (administrative data) (ISAP)
- Total household income as available (administrative data) (weekly) (HIAASD)
- Main type of household government benefit payment (administrative data) (HGAD)
- Main source of family income (administrative data) (FSAF)
- Administrative data
- Government benefits, pensions and allowances