Microdata and TableBuilder: Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia

Provides data on people with disability, older people (aged 65 years or more) and people who care for people with disability or older people

Introduction

This product outlines how microdata is released from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2018. It includes information about:

  • the microdata products available
  • how to use each microdata product
  • the data item lists
  • the quality of the microdata
  • the conditions of use.

Microdata are the most detailed information available from a survey and are generally the responses to individual questions on the questionnaire or data derived from two or more questions.

Microdata products are released with the approval of the Australian Statistician.

Available products

The following microdata products will be available:

  • DataLab – access to detailed microdata files and a range of statistical software packages
  • TableBuilder – an online tool for creating tables and graphs
  • Basic Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) – download microdata files for in-depth analysis.

The Microdata Entry Page has information about these products and how to understand and access microdata in general. Information on the features of each microdata product can be found on the Compare access options page.

Before applying for access, you should read the TableBuilder, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005) and/or Responsible Use of ABS Microdata, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003).

Apply for access

To apply for access to the DataLab, TableBuilder or CURF please follow the steps at How to Apply for Microdata.

If you are already a registered Disability, Ageing and Carers TableBuilder user, please use the TableBuilder Login page.

Further information

Further information about the survey and microdata products is available:

  • Detailed lists of data items for the Detailed Microdata, TableBuilder and CURF – in the Data downloads section as each product is released
  • The Quality Declaration section.

Support

For support and further information about these products, contact information is available on the Microdata contacts page.

Data available on request

Other data are available from the ABS on a fee for service basis, subject to confidentiality and data quality constraints. Tabulations to meet individual requirements can incorporate data items, populations and geographic areas.

Contact the National Information and Referral Service for further information.

Privacy

The ABS Privacy Policy Summary page outlines how the ABS handles any personal information that you provide to us.

Survey methodology

A summary of results and other information about the 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers is available in the publication Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0). Summary data tables, survey questionnaires and information on coding of long-term health conditions are available as Downloads. There is information about the specific definitions used in the survey (e.g. disability groups, carers), abbreviations and a glossary of terms. The Explanatory notes have information about survey design and operation, including:

  • sample design and scope
  • data collection methodology
  • weighting, benchmarks and estimation
  • data quality
  • interpreting the results.

Reliability of estimates

Each record on the household level and person level contains 60 replicate weights in addition to the main weight. By using these replicate weights, it is possible to calculate standard errors for weighted estimates produced from the microdata.

This method is known as Group Jackknife variance estimation. For more information on the Group Jackknife method of standard error estimation, see Research Paper: Weighting and Standard Error Estimation for ABS Household Surveys (Methodology Advisory Committee), July 1999 (cat. no. 1352.0.55.029).

Use of the 60 group Jackknife method for complex estimates, such as regression parameters from a statistical model, is not straightforward and may not be appropriate. The method as described does not apply to investigations where survey weights are not used, such as in unweighted statistical modelling.

File structure

Data available by level

The 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers data is available across ten levels. 

LevelInformation contained on levelBasic MicrodataTableBuilderDetailed Microdata
1. HouseholdHousehold size and structure, including whether there is a carer and/or a person with disability in the household
2. FamilyFamily size and structure, including whether there is a carer and/or a person with disability in the family
3. Income UnitIncome unit size, whether there is a carer and/or a person with disability in the income unit
4. Person (the main level)Demographic, socio-economic and health related characteristics of the survey respondents
5. All conditionsLong-term health conditions reported in the survey
6. RestrictionsRestrictions reported in the survey
7. Specific ActivitiesHow much support people need to perform specific activities, such as moving about their place of residence
8. RecipientRespondents who need help or supervision with everyday activities because of their age or disability, whose carers live in the same household.
9. Broad ActivitiesHow much support people need to perform tasks at the broad activity level (eg mobility, communication)
10. Assistance providersPeople providing assistance to others because of age or disability, including the types of assistance they provide

While the survey includes both households and cared-accommodation, only households are included on the Household, Family and Income Unit levels.

Relationship between levels

Datasets from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers are hierarchical in nature. A hierarchical data file is an efficient means of storing and retrieving information which describes one to many, or many to many, relationships (e.g. a person may report multiple long term conditions).

The following table shows the hierarchical file structure and the relationship between each level:

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4Levels 5-9Level 10Relationship Type
Household     1 record for each household (household only)
 Family    1 record for each family in household (household only)
  Income unit   1 record for each income unit in household (household only)
   Person  1 record for all persons
    All conditions 1 record for each condition reported
    Restrictions 1 record for each restriction reported
    Specific activities 1 record for each specific activity reported
    Recipient 1 record for each recipient / carer relationship
    Broad activities 1 record for each broad activity reported
     Assistance providers1 record for each provider for each broad activity reported

The first four levels are in a hierarchical relationship, where each level is derived from the previous. A person is a member of an income unit, which is a member of a family, which is a member of a household. A household may have more than one family, while a family may have more than one income unit, and so on.

Levels 5 to 9 relate to conditions, restrictions and activities, with each a sub-level of level 4 (Person). A person can have multiple conditions and restrictions as well as require assistance with one or more activities.

Level 10 is a sub-level of level 9 (Broad activities), as it relates to the assistance provided for activities identified in level 9. An activity can be done with the assistance of one or more providers.

Using repeating datasets

Levels 5 to 10 are known as repeating datasets. They have 'one to many' relationships with the Person level, as one person can have multiple records on these levels.

For example, the All Conditions level will have a record for every condition a person reports, because it is conditions that are being counted. On this level each condition reported has the data item 'Whether reported condition is main condition' associated with it, but only one condition per person will have a value of 1 (Yes). This enables a table to be run on 'All conditions' by 'Whether reported condition is the main condition' to see which condition causes the most problems.

As at the Person level, some data items in a repeating dataset are only applicable to a particular sub-population. For instance, the item 'Whether assistance is always or sometimes required with each activity' from the Specific activities level is only applicable for activities where the respondent needs assistance. In the detailed and basic microdata files, records outside the sub-population are not included in that level of the data. In the TableBuilder records outside the sub-population will appear as ‘not applicable’.

Unit identifiers

Every record on each level of the detailed and basic microdata files is uniquely identified. The identifiers ABSHID, ABSFID, ABSIID, ABSPID, ABSCID, ABSRSID, ABSSAID, ABSRCID, ABSBAID and ABSAPID appear on all levels of the file. Where the information for the identifier is not relevant for a level, it has a value of 0.

For more information about the identifiers, see the Weights and Identifiers section of the relevant Data Item List.

Each household has a unique thirteen digit random identifier, ABSHID. This identifier appears on the Household level and is repeated on each level on each record pertaining to that household. The combination of identifiers uniquely identifies a record at a particular level as shown below:

  1. Household = ABSHID
  2. Family = ABSHID + ABSFID
  3. Income unit = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID
  4. Person = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID
  5. All conditions = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID + ABSCID
  6. Restrictions = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID + ABSRSID
  7. Specific Activities = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID + ABSSAID
  8. Recipients: See below for a detailed explanation.
  9. Broad Activities = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID +ABSBAID
  10. Assistance providers = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID + ABSBAID + ABSAPID
     

Identifiers can be used to copy information from one level of the file to another. Some example SAS code has been provided to assist users transfer data from one level of the file to another. This is available as a SAS program with the detailed and basic microdata SAS files.

Recipient level identifiers

The Recipient level dataset includes identifiers for both the carer and the recipient(s) of care, which allows for data about either the carer or the recipient(s) of care to be copied from other levels. Care needs to be taken to ensure the correct identifiers are used when copying information between levels, to ensure that the correct person's data is copied across. To transfer information about a recipient of care from the Person level to the Recipient level, a common identifier will need to be created on the Person level.

If you require data items about the carer use the identifiers:

  1. Carer = ABSHID + ABSFID + ABSIID + ABSPID

If you require data items about the recipient of care use the identifiers:

  1. Recipient of care= MAPHHDRX + MAPFAMRX + MAPINCRX + MAPPSNRX

Some example SAS code has been provided to assist users transfer data from the Person level to the Recipient level. This is available as a SAS program with the detailed and basic microdata SAS files.

Using DataLab

The DataLab environment allows real time access to detailed microdata files through a portal to a secure ABS environment. The detailed microdata files provide more detail than the basic microdata (CURF) files. Using detailed microdata in the DataLab environment allows users to run advanced statistical analyses using recent analytical software.

For information about the data items available on the detailed microdata files, see the Data Item List in the Data downloads section.

About the DataLab environment

Detailed microdata files on the DataLab can be accessed on-site at ABS offices or in a secure virtual environment from your own computer. All unit record data remains in the DataLab environment, and any analysis results or tables are checked by the ABS before being provided to the researcher.

For more information, including prerequisites for DataLab access, please see the About the DataLab page.

Detailed microdata test file

A test file is available for researchers to become familiar with the data structure and prepare code/programs before applying for or beginning a DataLab session. This saves user’s time within the DataLab environment.

The test file mimics the structure of the detailed microdata in that it has the same data items and allowed values. However, all data on the file is false, created through a randomisation process, therefore it cannot be used for analysis.

A Person level test file is available as a free download in the Data downloads section.

Counts and weights

Data are available from 65,805 people: 

  • 54,142 from households
  • 11,663 from cared-accommodation

The Person level contains the item 'Living Arrangements' (SAS name = POPESTAB) which indicates whether the data were collected in the household or cared-accommodation component. The item has the category 'Persons living in establishments' for the cared-accommodation component and 'Persons living in households' for the household component. This item can be copied from the Person level to other levels of the file as required.

The number of records and weight applied to each of the different levels is shown below. For more information about the file structure, see the File Structure page. For more information about the weights, see the Weights and Identifiers section of the Data Item List.

LevelFile nameWeight applied to levelRecord Counts
1. HouseholdDAC18HHHousehold weight21,962
2. FamilyDAC18FAMHousehold weight23,262
3. Income UnitDAC18IUHousehold weight27,223
4. Person (the main level)DAC18PERPerson weight65,805
5. All conditionsDAC18CONPerson weight131,155
6. RestrictionsDAC18RESPerson weight113,576
7. Specific ActivitiesDAC18SPAPerson weight164,771
8. RecipientDAC18ALRPerson weight4,739
9. Broad ActivitiesDAC18BRAPerson weight85,829
10. Assistance providersDAC18PASPerson weight25,000

National Disability Insurance Scheme data item

Since 2015, the SDAC has collected information about National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participation for future use in comparing outcomes for NDIS participants compared with those who are not participants. At the time of 2018 enumeration, the NDIS was still rolling out in many jurisdictions and therefore the data reflects only those who reported receiving an agreed package of support through NDIS at the time of enumeration. Given this, the ABS would advise users to carefully consider these limitations if looking to use NDIS data in any analysis, especially when analysing data at finer levels.

Using the TableBuilder

TableBuilder User Guide

This page contains information on the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) TableBuilder. The TableBuilder User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005) provides information on how to create basic tables, custom groups, graphs and large tables. It also includes practical examples and video tutorials.

Data available

The SDAC TableBuilder dataset contains nine of the ten levels of data available from the survey. See the File Structure page for more information. The Recipient level (level 8) has not been released in TableBuilder due to the complexity of using and interpreting data on this level. The Recipient level has ‘many to many’ relationships as a recipient of care can have multiple carers and a carer can have multiple recipients of care. To discuss your data needs at this level, please contact the ABS National Information and Referral Service.

For more information about the data items available, see the Data Item List in the Data downloads section.

Continuous data items

Continuous data items are available in TableBuilder from the Summation Options section in Table view. To create tables using continuous data items, create a range for the item or select sum, median or mean. Once created, ranged items can be found under the Ranges heading.

Continuous data items provide flexibility for users when creating tables. For example, see below two ranged versions of the Kessler 10 score data item, with increments of 10 and 5. Instructions and more detail on working with continuous data items can be found on the Summation options, ranges and quantiles page.

Kessler 10 increment of 5 and 10

Many continuous items contain special codes such as '00. Not applicable'. In these cases the data item can also be found under the appropriate level in the variable list in Table view. Special codes are automatically excluded from calculations of sums, means, medians or ranges.

The example below shows how special codes are displayed in the Data Item List. Minimum and maximum limits and the minimum increments for ranging continuous items are also detailed in the data item list.

Kessler 10 score displayed in data item list with special codes for not applicable, not asked and unable to determine categories

Multiple response data items

A number of data items allow a respondent to have more than one response. For these items, a person is counted against each category they responded to and consequently the sum of the categories may be different to the total. The table below displays the multiple response data item 'Type(s) of activity for which aid(s) or equipment used' with the Person weight. For example, a person who uses an aid for Toileting, Dressing and Eating will be counted against each of these three categories.

Multiple response data items are identified in the Data Item List in the label using the indicator ‘<multiple response>’.

Person estimates for multiple response data item Types of activity for which aids or equipment used

Understanding what is being counted

The SDAC TableBuilder has four weights available in 'Summation Options'. These weights are used to specify what is counted in tables. Tables can be created to sum to the total count of households, families, income units and people. For more information about how SDAC is weighted, see ‘Estimation methods’ on the Explanatory notes page (cat. no. 4430.0).

It is critical that the correct weight is used when creating tables. For SDAC TableBuilder the default summation is the Person weight, and without changing the summation option, all tables will automatically count the number of people in the table.

Generally, you should use the weight which corresponds to the level of analysis you are undertaking. For example, use the Household weight for items on the household level or use the Person weight for items on the person level. You can, however, select different weights for tables. When changing the summation option, or using data items from multiple levels, estimates should be considered carefully to understand what the table is counting. Some examples of interpreting data from different levels are provided below.

For the counting unit of each level of data in SDAC, see the File Structure page. For more general information, and instructions on how to change summation options in TableBuilder, see the Summation options, ranges and quantiles page.

Using a weight from a lower level with a data item on a higher level (one to many relationship)

The table below uses the family level item ‘Number of persons with a disability in family’ with the Person weight. In this table, 1,749,300 people live in a family with 2 people with a disability. As family level data is only applicable to people living in households, the 195,700 people in cared accommodation are ‘Not applicable’. The data item has also been collapsed for families with 4 or more people with a disability, using the custom data view.

Person estimates for data item number of persons with a disability in family

Using a weight from a higher level with a data item on a lower level (many to one relationship)

The table below uses the person level data item ‘Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA)’ with the Household weight. For geography data items, the value of the data item is the same for all people in the household. In this table, 89,600 households are located in Remote Australia. This excludes people living in cared accommodation as the household weight is applicable only to households. If the Person weight was used with this data item, persons living in cared accommodation would be included in the count.

Household estimates for person item Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA)

The table below uses the condition level data item ‘Type of long term condition reported’ with the Person weight, and includes only people who have Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders. In this table, the total shows 2,360,800 people have one or more endocrine, nutritional and/or metabolic disorder(s), 1,065,600 people have Diabetes and 1,148,200 people have High cholesterol. As some people may have multiple conditions (e.g. Diabetes and High cholesterol), the sum of categories is greater than the total (2,760,200 versus 2,360,800).

Person estimates for 5 categories from Type of long term condition item

The data item ‘Type of long term condition reported’ has grouping categories. For example the grouping category 'Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders [5]' groups Disorders of the thyroid gland, Diabetes, Obesity, High cholesterol and Other endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders. When using grouping categories in tables, a person is counted only once if they have multiple conditions from the same group. For example a person with both Diabetes and High cholesterol would only be counted once in the grouping category 'Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders [5]'. Grouping categories are indicated by a yellow folder symbol in the variable list once you click on the original data item.

Grouping category Endocrine, nutrition and metabolic disorders and the conditions it groups (for example, disorders of the thyroid gland)

The table below splits the above example by age groups, using the conditions level item and the person level item 'Age in single years up to 100 years and over' with the Person weight. This table is weighted in the same way as above, and sums to the total number of people with one or more endocrine, nutritional and/or metabolic disorder(s). In this table, 577,700 people aged 65 years and over have Diabetes. As above, the total for each column is lower than the sum of the categories within the column, as people can have more than one of these conditions.

Person estimates for detailed categories from type of long term condition reported cross tabbed by broad groupings of age of person

The table below includes the Broad Activities level data item 'Broad area of activity where assistance is required or difficulty is experienced' with the Person weight. In this table, the total of 3,475,500 is the total number of people who require assistance or experience difficulty, as the not applicable category has not been included. As people may require assistance or experience difficulty with more than one broad area of activity, the sum of the categories is greater than the total (12,142,000 and 3,475,500).

Person estimates for data item: Broad area of activity where assistance is required or difficulty is experienced

The table below includes the Broad Activities level data item 'Whether needs assistance or has difficulty with broad activity area' with the Person weight. It excludes the 'Not applicable' category as in the above table, and these data items have the same population. As the table is counting people, a person is only counted once per category even if they need assistance with multiple activities.

For this data item, a person who needs assistance or has difficulty with multiple broad activities may be counted against both of the categories in the item (for example, someone who needs assistance with Household chores and also has difficulty with Mobility will be counted against 'Needs assistance with activities' and 'Does not need assistance but has difficulty with activities').

In this table, 2,893,400 people need assistance with one or more activity and 1,853,200 people have difficulty with one or more activity.

Person estimates for data item: Whether needs assistance or has difficulty with broad activity area

Confidentiality

In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, all data are confidentialised before release. This is to avoid releasing information that could identify individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Records are confidentialised in the SDAC TableBuilder by: 

  • removing or collapsing data items
  • applying minimum and maximum values, and minimum increments, to continuous items
  • perturbing the data
  • applying sparsity rules (including zero value cells and table suppression)

Where an item triggers sparsity rules, the ‘custom data’ view can be used to collapse categories into usable formats.

Information on perturbation and sparsity can be found in the TableBuilder, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005).

Using Basic Microdata

SDAC basic microdata files are available in MicrodataDownload. Basic microdata (CURF) files are designed for use in your own environment and have broader level data than other microdata products. For information about the data items available, see the Data Item List on the Downloads page.

Confidentiality

In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, all data are confidentialised before release. This is to avoid releasing information that could identify individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Records are confidentialised in the SDAC basic microdata by:

  • reducing detail of data items (e.g. age is collapsed to 5 year ranges)
  • removing data items (e.g. weekly income is not included)
  • modifying unusual records to protect against identification
  • reducing households with 7 or more persons to a maximum of 6 persons

The nature of the changes made, and the relatively small number of records involved ensure that the effect on data for analysis purposes is considered negligible. Changes to household structure was done in ways that minimised the impact on data about key populations and household, family and relationship compositions, however there may be some inconsistencies as a result of confidentiality changes. These changes also mean that estimates produced from the basic microdata may differ from those published in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0), subsequent publications and any TableBuilder or detailed microdata output. Comparison to published estimates for populations and key estimates can be found in Tables 1 and 2 below.

Table 1 compares previously published data with basic microdata to show the size of the change to the estimated population. The biggest percentage change due to the confidentialising process is in relation to Queensland estimates.

Table 1: Published (cat. no. 4430.0) population estimates (weighted) compared to the basic microdata estimates
 PublishedBasic Microdata 
'000'000% change
New South Wales7,944.17893.9-0.63
Victoria6,469.06434.9-0.53
Queensland4,920.94878.5-0.86
South Australia1713.41702.5-0.63
Western Australia2,508.52496.5-0.48
Tasmania523.5522.1-0.27
Northern Territory178.8178.5-0.17
Australian Capital Territory413.4410.1-0.80
Total24,667.324,517.0-0.61

Table 2 compares the published data and basic microdata to show the difference in prevalence of key populations. It shows that the impact of confidentialising the data is small.

Table 2: Published (cat. no. 4430.0) disability and carer prevalence, and percentage of population aged 65 years or more, compared to the basic microdata
 Disability rateCarer ratePersons aged 65 years or more
 PublishedBasic MicrodataPublishedBasic MicrodataPublishedBasic Microdata
New South Wales16.917.010.810.816.216.3
Victoria17.016.910.910.815.315.4
Queensland19.119.010.810.815.615.7
South Australia19.419.310.610.618.618.7
Western Australia16.416.49.29.214.815.0
Tasmania26.826.715.315.219.819.9
Northern Territory11.611.75.76.39.29.0
Australian Capital Territory19.419.312.112.213.013.1
Total17.717.710.710.715.915.9

Counts and weights

Data are available from 65,487 people:

  • 53,824 from households
  • 11,663 from cared-accommodation

The Person level contains the item 'Living Arrangements' (SAS name = POPESTAB) which indicates whether the data were collected in the household or cared-accommodation component. The item has the category 'Persons living in establishments' for the cared-accommodation component and 'Persons living in households' for the household component. This item can be copied from the Person level to other levels of the file as required.

The number of records and weight applied to each of the different levels is shown below. For more information about the file structure, see the File Structure page. For more information about the weights, see the Weights and Identifiers section of the Data Item List.

LevelFile nameWeight applied to levelRecord Counts
1. HouseholdDAC18HHHousehold weight21,949
2. FamilyDAC18FAMHousehold weight23,229
3. Income UnitDAC18IUHousehold weight27,168
4. Person (the main level)DAC18PERPerson weight65,487
5. All conditionsDAC18CONPerson weight130,953
6. RestrictionsDAC18RESPerson weight113,369
7. Specific ActivitiesDAC18SPAPerson weight164,493
8. RecipientDAC18ALRPerson weight4,669
9. Broad ActivitiesDAC18BRAPerson weight85,649
10. Assistance providersDAC18PASPerson weight24,744

Data item list

Each microdata product has a separate data item list available in the Data downloads section. The data item lists show: 

  • the data items and level of detail available for that product
  • variable names
  • any changes made since 2015.

Each data item list has:

  • a contents page with links to each level sheet
  • an index linking to each level and person topic sheet
  • a person level contents page, with links to each topic sheet
  • individual sheets for each level or topic with a full listing of items output for that level or topic.

The CURF and Detailed Microdata data item lists also provide information about the files, the record identifiers and weighting variables to be used.

A glossary of definitions for the data items can be found in Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0).

For confidentiality and/or usability reasons, some data item values have been grouped together and/or restricted for use on the microdata products.

Conditions of use

User responsibilities

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 includes a legislative guarantee to respondents that their confidentiality will be protected. This is fundamental to the trust the Australian public has in the ABS, and that trust is in turn fundamental to the high quality of ABS information. Without that trust, survey respondents may be less forthcoming or truthful in answering our questionnaires.

For more information, see Avoiding inadvertent disclosure and Microdata on the How the ABS keeps your information confidential page.

Confidentiality

In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, microdata are subjected to a confidentiality process before release. The release of microdata must satisfy the ABS legislative obligation to release information in a manner that is not likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation.

This confidentiality process is applied to avoid releasing information that may lead to the identification of individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Confidentialised unit record files (CURF)

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 allows the Australian Statistician to approve release of unit record data. All CURFs released have been approved by the Statistician. Prior to being granted access to CURFs, each organisation's Responsible Officer must submit a CURF Undertaking to the ABS. The CURF Undertaking is required by legislation and states that, prior to CURFs being released to an organisation, a Responsible Officer must undertake to ensure that the organisation will abide by the conditions of use of CURFs. Individual users are bound by the Undertaking signed by the Responsible Officer.

All CURF users are required to read and abide by the conditions and restrictions in the Responsible Use of ABS Microdata, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003). Any breach of the CURF Undertaking may result in withdrawal of service to individuals and/or organisations. Further information is contained in the Consequences of Failing to Comply with a Microdata Undertaking page.

TableBuilder

Prior to being granted access to TableBuilder, users must agree to the following ABS Terms and Conditions of TableBuilder Access: 

  • understand that the ABS has taken great care to ensure that the information on the survey output record file is correct and as accurate as possible, and understand that the ABS does not guarantee, or accept any legal liability whatsoever arising from, or connected to, the use of any material contained within, or derived from, TableBuilder
  • understand that all data extracted from the Survey Output Record File through TableBuilder will be confidentialised prior to being supplied and that as a result, no reliance should be placed on small cells as they are impacted by random adjustment, respondent and processing errors
  • inform the ABS, through their Contact Officer, upon leaving their organisation that their access is disabled
  • not to provide their TableBuilder user ID and password access to any other person or organisation.

For more information, please refer to the Registration Centre conditions of use page.

DataLab

Prior to using the DataLab users must agree to and sign an Undertaking and a Declaration of Compliance.

For more information on the DataLab, please refer to the About the DataLab page.

Conditions of sale

All ABS products and services are provided subject to the ABS Conditions of Sale. For any queries relating to these, please refer to the contact details on the Conditions of Sale page.

Price

Microdata access is priced according to ABS Pricing Policy and Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines. For microdata prices refer to the Microdata prices page.

Apply for access

To apply for access to microdata products, follow the registrations instructions which are available via the Microdata Entry page.

Australian universities

The ABS/Universities Australia Agreement provides participating universities with access to a range of ABS products and services. This includes access to microdata. For further information, university clients should refer to the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement page.

Further information

The Microdata Entry page on the ABS website contains links to microdata related information to assist users to understand and access microdata. For further information, contact information is available on the Microdata contacts page.

Data downloads

Data files

Previous releases

 TableBuilder data seriesMicrodataDownloadDataLab
Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2015TableBuilderBasic microdataDetailed microdata
Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2012TableBuilderBasic microdata 
Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2009TableBuilderBasic microdata 
Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2003TableBuilderBasic microdata 
Disability, Ageing and Carers, 1998 Basic microdata 
Disability, Ageing and Carers, 1993 Basic microdata 

Quality declaration

Institutional environment

The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) will be released as: 

  • detailed microdata files in the DataLab
  • a TableBuilder
  • a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF)

To maintain confidentiality, microdata files must meet the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

More information on confidentiality practices can be found at:

Please see ABS Institutional Environment for information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements and mechanisms for scrutiny of operations.

Relevance

The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) collected information in order to:

  • measure the prevalence of disability in Australia
  • measure the need for support of older people and those with disability
  • estimate the number of and provide information about people who provide care to older people and people with disabilities
  • provide a demographic and socio-economic profile of people with disabilities, older people, and carers compared with the general population

Detailed information about the data items available for each microdata product is provided in the Data Item Lists in the Data downloads section.

Information from the SDAC will be used by a wide range of public and private sector agencies, in particular the Department of Health, Department of Social Services, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, National Disability Insurance Agency, the Productivity Commission and state and territory government departments with responsibility for planning support services for older people, people with disability, and carers.

Timeliness

The 2018 SDAC is the ninth national survey, following similar surveys in 1981, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2015. The SDAC was conducted in two parts: the cared-accommodation component, which ran from June to August 2018, and the household component, which ran from July 2018 to March 2019.

The microdata products are released approximately 6 to 12 months after data collection is completed.

Accuracy

The microdata contains unit record level data for the SDAC. Key findings from the survey are available from Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0).

Steps are taken to confidentialise the microdata files in a way that maximises the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the microdata with other published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the SDAC microdata is available on the ABS website How The ABS Keeps Your Information Confidential.

Coherence

The Past & Future Releases page links to other releases of the SDAC microdata.

A summary of the five previous household surveys on this topic were published in:

Data from the first three disability surveys (1981, 1988 and 1993) can be obtained by contacting the National Information and Referral Service.

Most of the content of the nine disability surveys conducted by the ABS is comparable. There are differences, however, as more recent surveys have tried to get better coverage of disability and of specific tasks and activities previously thought to be too sensitive for a population survey.

The 2003 survey included questions relating to unmet need for, and receipt of, assistance with cognition or emotion. This provided a better perspective on assistance needs and requirements for both physical and psychological needs. The 2009 survey had further enhancements to measure unmet need. The 2012 survey added content to measure barriers and costs to health care, feelings of safety at and away from home, and satisfaction with the quality and range of health services available. The 2015 survey added questions on accessibility to selected locations and facilities, discrimination, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participation and prevalence of dementia. Only a small number of minor changes were made to the content between the 2015 and 2018 surveys.

For further information on the comparability of data items between SDAC 2015 and 2018 and new 2018 data items see the relevant Data Item List.

Interpretability

Information in the Summary page of this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It includes:

  • survey methodology
  • file structure
  • using the CURF
  • using the TableBuilder
  • using the DataLab
  • conditions of use
  • data items

Further information can be found in the Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018 (cat. no. 4430.0). In particular, information to assist in interpretation of the data can be found in the Interpretation of Results section of the Explanatory Notes.

Accessibility

Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wanting to access microdata should familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.

The 2018 SDAC microdata can be accessed using a Basic CURF, the TableBuilder or detailed microdata in the DataLab environment.

The Compare Access Options page contains general information on different types of microdata product access. A full list of available microdata can be viewed via Available Microdata.

Other data are available from the ABS on a fee for service basis, subject to confidentiality and data quality constraints. Tabulations to meet individual requirements can incorporate data items, populations and geographic areas.

For further information, contact information is available on the Microdata contacts page.

History of changes

Show all

10/03/2020

The basic microdata files are now available. A basic microdata data item list is available from the Data downloads section. Information relating to the basic microdata files is on the Using basic microdata page. Some general information about detailed and basic microdata files has also been added to the File Structure section.

20/11/2019

The TableBuilder is now available. A TableBuilder data item list is available from the Data downloads section. Information relating to the TableBuilder is on the Using the TableBuilder page.

04/11/2019

The Detailed Microdata data item list was updated to remove a macro error message that appeared for some users when opening in Excel. A link in the Quality Declaration was updated to reflect changes to the Basic CURF page.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4430.0.30.002.