Latest release

# Household Income and Wealth, Australia methodology

Reference period
2019-20 financial year
Released
28/04/2022
Next release Unknown

## How the data is collected

### Introduction

This publication presents a summary of the findings from the 2019–20 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). The survey collected detailed information about the income, wealth and household characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over in private dwellings throughout Australia, excluding very remote areas.

The Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2019–20, referred to as the User Guide, is intended to assist users ability to understand and utilise results from the SIH.

The SIH was conducted continuously from 1994–95 to 1997–98, and then in 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2002–03. From 2003–04 the SIH was conducted every two years. The 2019–20 SIH collected information from a sample of 15,011 households over the period July 2019 to June 2020.

Previous surveys of household income were conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 1979, 1982, 1986 and 1990. These surveys were generally conducted over a two-month period, compared to a twelve-month period for the SIH. The SIH also included improvements to the survey weighting and estimation procedures, changes to the scope and coverage of household income and changes to interviewing methods from 1994–95 onwards.

In 2003–04, 2009–10 and 2015–16 the SIH was integrated with the Household Expenditure Survey (HES). In 2005–06, 2007–08, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2017–18 and 2019–20, the SIH was run as a stand-alone survey.

### Changes in this issue

Key changes in 2019–20 compared with 2017–18 include:

• collection methodology for 2019–20 included the introduction of an online form (formally; computer assisted web interview, or CAWI), where the respondent could self report (without interviewer assistance). As a result, estimates may not be directly comparable to previous cycles (See collection Method section for more information).
• a general review of the questions, populations and sequencing was undertaken to optimise survey content for online collection
• the Household Form was redesigned as part of the Integrated Household Surveys Program to produce common content across various household surveys
• cyclical housing content was collected this cycle, including changes in rent payments which was last collected in 2007–08
• the child care module was largely restructured for online collection and to address payment changes. The Child Care Rebate (CCR) and Child Care Benefit (CCB) were no longer collected for children aged 12 and under. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) replaces the CCR and CCB and is now collected for children aged 13 and under.
• superannuation: use of lump sum payments is not collected

### Dissaving action

Any action where spending is greater than income, thereby reducing already accumulated savings or leading to borrowing to finance the expenditure. Examples of dissaving actions include any of the following actions because money was needed for basic living expenses:

• reducing home loan repayments
• drawing on savings or term deposits
• increasing balance owed on credit cards by \$1,000 or more
• entering into a loan agreement with family or friends
• taking out a personal loan
• selling household goods or jewellery
• selling shares or other assets.

### Financial stress

A range of items which provide a subjective measure of the household's economic well-being. One person in each household was asked to provide assessments of the current household's circumstances. Items include management of household income, present standard of living compared with two years ago, ability to raise emergency money, and a range of cash flow problems.

### JobKeeper payment

The JobKeeper payment scheme is a subsidy for businesses significantly affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19). It was introduced in April 2020 to help employers with the costs of their employees’ wages.

### JobSeeker payment

The JobSeeker payment scheme provides financial help for working aged Australians (aged between 22 and Age Pension age) who are looking for work or sick or injured and can’t do usual work or study for a short time. The JobSeeker payment was introduced on 20 March 2020 as the main payment for people aged 22 years to pension age.

### Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is a product developed especially for those interested in the assessment of the welfare of Australian communities. The ABS has developed a set of indexes to allow ranking of regions/areas, providing a method of determining the level of social and economic well-being in each region. For further information about the SEIFAs, see Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) 2016 (cat. no. 2033.0.55.001).

## Abbreviations

A list of abbreviations is located in the Survey of Income and Housing User Guide.