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 the 2012 Basic and Expanded CURFs. Many of the differences result from the difference in the maximum household size permitted on the Basic and Expanded CURFs.
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 Data downloads section.
Many of the data items included on the CURFs are self-explanatory. The Glossary provides links to terms and definitions for most of the survey's data items. However, some items require further explanation.
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.
A household may have one or more longitudinal records and each instance within the household is numbered according to the wave number. Longitudinal number (ABSWID) appears on the longitudinal level. The combination of a household and Longitudinal number uniquely identifies a longitudinal instance.
To enable CURF users greater flexibility in their analyses, the ABS has included Climate Zones, Socio-economic Indexes for Area (SEIFA) and several sub-state geography items on the Basic and Expanded 2012 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 climate zone classification used for HECS is based on the eight broad climatic zones defined by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). Each zone is based on humidity, temperature and rainfall characteristics. For more information please see paragraphs 18 to 20 of the Explanatory Notes, Household Energy Consumption Survey, Australia: Summary of Results (cat. no. 4670.0.).
The person level records contain detailed information on income by source. 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 aggregating 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 Part 1.2 'Current, annual and weekly income' in Household Energy Consumption Survey, User Guide, Australia (cat. no. 4671.0).
'Total current weekly income from all sources'
The publications relating to the 2012 HECS use this measure of income. It is consistent with the measure of income used in the 2011-12 SIH.
The component items of "Total current weekly income from all sources" are:
- Current weekly cash employee income from main job (incl. salary sacrifice and bonuses)
- Total current weekly employee income (incl overtime, salary sacrifice, bonuses and STRP)
- Current weekly cash employee income from main job (incl. salary sacrifice)
- Total current weekly non cash benefits from employer (non-salary sacrifice)
- Current weekly employee cash income from bonuses
- Expected current weekly paid overtime this financial year
- Current weekly employee income from second job
- Current weekly income from paid-out unused leave
- Current weekly income from redundancy pay
- Other wage and salary income – reported as other sources
- Current weekly cash income from own unincorporated business (reported)
- Total current weekly income from government pensions and allowances
- Current weekly income from Austudy/Abstudy
- Current weekly income from age pension
- Current weekly income from carer allowance
- Current weekly income from carer payment
- Current weekly income from carer supplement
- Current weekly income from clean energy advance
- Current weekly income from disability pension, (DVA)
- Current weekly income from disability support pension
- Current weekly income from education tax refund
- Current weekly income from family tax benefits (modelled)
- Current weekly income from Baby Bonus
- Current weekly income from Paid Parental Leave
- Current weekly income from Newstart allowance
- Current weekly income from other government pensions and allowances
- Current weekly income from overseas pensions and benefits
- Current weekly income from parenting payment
- Current weekly income from partner allowance
- Current weekly income from service pension (DVA)
- Current weekly income from sickness allowance
- Current weekly income from special benefit
- Current weekly income from utilities allowance
- Current weekly income from war widow's pension (DVA)
- Current weekly income from widow allowance
- Current weekly income from wife pension
- Current weekly income from youth allowance
- Current weekly income from pension supplement
- Current weekly income from seniors supplement
- Total current weekly income from investments (incl. silent partner income, shares/trusts net of expenses)
- Current weekly income from financial institution account interest (excl offset accounts) (reported)
- Current weekly income from interest on debentures and bonds (reported)
- Current weekly income from interest on loans to persons not in this household (reported)
- Current weekly income from non-residential property (reported)
- Current weekly income from residential property (reported)
- Current weekly income from royalties (reported)
- Current weekly income as beneficiary of a trust (excl. public unit trusts and employment income)
- Current weekly income as silent partner
- Current weekly income from other financial investments (reported)
- Current weekly income from dividends from own incorporated businesses and trusts (reported)
- Current weekly income from offset accounts
- Current weekly net income from public unit trusts
- Current weekly net income from dividends from shares
- Total current weekly income from other sources (incl. workers' compensation lump sums)
- Total current weekly income from other regular sources
- Current weekly income from accident compensation and sickness insurance
- Current weekly income from child support/maintenance
- Current weekly income from family members not living in the household
- Current weekly income from regular workers' compensation
- Current weekly income from scholarships
- Current weekly income from superannuation/annuity/private pension
- Current weekly income from regular sources n.e.c
- Current weekly income from workers' compensation lump sum.
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 the last financial year at time of interview (by moving in with a new partner, separating from a partner or becoming widowed) and for persons who arrived in Australia during 2012. 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 FINSCOPE=1. At the household level the previous financial year exclusion flag (FINSCOPH) indicates households where the reference person or spouse of one of the income units in the household has FINSCOPE=1. Users wishing to analyse previous financial year income data may wish to exclude such persons from their analysis (by limiting their analysis to records where FINSCOPE=2).
Assets and liabilities
The 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 in the Survey of Income and Housing.
Household energy expenditure and consumption
Weekly energy expenditure is included for all households. Households that were unable or refused to supply energy expenditure information had their expenditure imputed. please see Data processing methods, Survey design and operation, Household Energy Consumption Survey, User Guide, Australia (cat. no. 4671.0) for more information. Detailed expenditure and consumption on electricity, mains gas and bottle gas are only available to households who had their billing details on hand during the interview.
Weekly housing costs used in the 2012 HECS are consistent with those used in the 2011-12 SIH. For further information refer to the section 'Using the CURF' in Microdata: Income and Housing, Australia, 2011–12 (cat. no. 6541.0.30.001).
The CURFs include 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 accord 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 estimates have been included on the CURFs. Two household level variables are included, 'Weekly gross imputed rent' and 'Weekly HH income from net imputed rent'. 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 Part 1.12 'Imputed rent estimates' in Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2011–12 (cat. no. 6553.0).
Payments to non household members
The financial resources available to certain persons can be affected by regular payments that they may make to provide support for persons outside the household. Information on payments for child support, alimony to former spouse, and payments to family members not in the household have been included on the CURFs.
Imputation flags exist for each module in the questionnaire, rather than for specific data items. A value of 1 (partially imputed) indicates that at least one question in that 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. A value of 2 (fully imputed) indicates that a person record has been fully imputed. In households where one or more people did not respond, person records were imputed if the non-responding persons was not a 'significant person'.
Multiple response data items
The energy and child care topics contains a number of multiple response data items on the CURF. In these instances respondents were able to select one or more response categories, and the output data items are multi-response in nature. This section describes these items and provides some information on how to use them.
On the Basic and Expanded CURFs, the data items are:
- 'All sources of energy used in dwelling' (ENGY01A--ENGY01F)
- 'All sources of energy used to heat dwelling (AHEATBCA--AHEATBCE basic, ENGY18A--ENGY18F expanded)
- 'Where insulation is installed in dwelling' (DINSULCA--DINSULCC)
- 'Window treatments in dwelling' (ENEF04A--ENEF04H)
- 'Types of fuel purchased for motor vehicles in household in the last 2 weeks' (VEHFUELA--VEHFUELC)
- 'Actions members of household currently taking to reduce energy use' ('ENEF18A--ENEF18I)
- 'Type of modification made to dwelling in previous 2 years or since bought dwelling if within 2 years' (ENEF6CA--ENEF6CJ)
- 'Whether household replaced any heaters, coolers or major whitegoods in selected dwelling in previous 2 years or since bought dwelling if within 2 years' (ENEF08A--ENEF08C)
- 'Type of modification to selected dwelling intended in the next 12 months' (ENEF12A--ENEF12L)
- 'Whether household intends to replace any heaters, coolers or major whitegoods in selected dwelling in next 12 months' (ENEF14A--ENEF14C)
- 'Type of heating equipment used during winter' (HEATTYPA--HEATTYPG)
- 'Type of cooling equipment used during summer' (COOLTYPA--COOLTYPG)
Income unit level
- 'Types of formal child care income unit used in the last 4 weeks' (TYPFCIUA--TYPFCIUF)
- 'Types of informal child care income unit used in the last 4 weeks' (TYICIUCA--TYICIUCH)
- 'All reasons lack of child care prevents parent from working' (UNMET07A--UNMET07J)
- 'All sources of energy used in dwelling (LNGSENGA--LNGSENGF)
- 'Type of modification made to dwelling in the past 3 months' (WFEEMODA--WFEEMODN)
- 'Type of modification to selected dwelling intended in the next 12 months' (WFMODINA--WFMODINN)
- 'Actions household is currently taking to reduce energy use' (WFACTNA--WFACTNH)
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. ENGY01A), and additional responses are in the second and then third and higher, or 'B' and 'C' and higher, positions (e.g. ENGY01B, ENGY01C). If only one response is possible, for example 'none of the above' then this response may also appear in the 'A' position. If 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.ENGY01A). 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 Data downloads section.