Microdata and TableBuilder: Permanent migrants in Australia

Using microdata products for the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID)

2021 ACMID microdata are now available in TableBuilder and DataLab. 

Detailed data item lists are available in Data downloads.


This product provides information about the release of microdata from the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) in TableBuilder and DataLab.

Microdata are the most detailed information available from a Census or administrative data collection process and are generally the responses to confidentialised/de-identified individual questions on questionnaires or forms. They also include derived data from answers to two or more questions.

Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset

The Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) contains data on people who were granted a permanent Skilled, Family, Humanitarian or Other Permanent visa and arrived in Australia between 1 January 2000 and Census night. These datasets link data from the Census of Population and Housing (Census) with the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) Settlement Database.

The Census is conducted every five years to measure the number of people and dwellings in Australia on Census night. The Census also provides information on the key characteristics of people and dwellings for small geographic areas and small population groups.

Accessing the data

You can use this data in:

  • TableBuilder - online tool for creating tables and graphs.
  • DataLab - analyse detailed microdata.

Compare data services to see what's right for you. Information on how to apply for access can be found in TableBuilder and DataLab.

Further information about these products, and other information to assist users in understanding and accessing microdata in general, is available from the Microdata and TableBuilder Entry Page.


For support in the use of these product, please contact us or email microdata.access@abs.gov.au.

Data available on request

Customised tables are available on a fee-for-service basis. Enquiries should be submitted via an Information consultancy form


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

2021 ACMID

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2016 ACMID

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2011 ACMID

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Using the data

Multi response data items

The ACMID contains several data items that allow people to select more than one answer. As respondents can select multiple responses, care must be taken interpreting counts and totals.

  • The Ancestry variable allows respondents to report up to two ancestries on their Census form. Refer to Understanding and using Ancestry data for information on how to use this data item.
  • From 2021 the Long-term health condition variable allows people to report multiple long-term health conditions. Refer to the 2021 Census Dictionary for information on how to use this data item.

Not applicable categories

Most data items included in the microdata include a 'Not applicable' category. The classification value of the 'Not applicable' category, where relevant, are shown in the data item lists in the Data downloads section.

Permanent visa characteristics

Data items relating to a person’s visa characteristics include:

  • the visa class of a person's entry into Australia
  • their country of citizenship
  • whether the visa was granted onshore or offshore (available in 2011 and 2016 only)
  • whether the person was the primary or secondary applicant for the visa.

Visa transitions

In the 2021 ACMID visa transition data items were added. These data items relate to the visa history data from the Department of Home Affairs for each linked person record.

In DataLab, a separate file is available to facilitate analysis of people's visa grant history and visa transitions.

In TableBuilder, data items that show different visa transitions are available. These data items are determined from the supplied visa history data. Given the complexity of visa histories, rules were applied to produce the visa transition data. For example, the first temporary visa excludes bridging and visitor visas. Additionally, where a person has not held a valid temporary visa for 12 months or more, the temporary visas before this break are excluded. The grant of a person's first permanent visa marks the end of their transition pathway.


Information or data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics must be acknowledged responsibly whenever it is used. For information on how to cite ABS data refer to How to cite ABS Sources.

Using TableBuilder

The ACMID is available in Tablebuilder for 2011, 2016 and 2021. 

The TableBuilder User Guide provides detailed instructions on how to Build a tableWorking with tablesconfidentiality processes and all other aspects of using the TableBuilder product.

Responsible use of ABS microdata and Conditions of Use explain your obligations as a user of ABS microdata products.

Continuous data items

The ACMID contains several continuous data items. The calculation of sums, medians and means are only possible for continuous data items:

  • AGEP (Age) 
  • HRSP (Hours worked) 
  • MRED (Mortgage repayments (monthly))
  • RNTD (Rent payments)
  • DAYPERM (Number of days from first non-permanent visa granted to first permanent visa granted). New item, available for 2021 only.

Please note that median calculations are not available for ACMID 2021.

For information regarding the calculation of sums, medians, means and ranges see the Summation options for continuous variables section.

Confidentiality features in TableBuilder

The data in TableBuilder is subject to a confidentiality process before release. This confidentiality process is undertaken to avoid releasing information that may allow the identification of particular individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Processes used in TableBuilder to confidentialise records include the following:

  • perturbation of data
  • table suppression.

See confidentiality in the TableBuilder user guide for more details.

TableBuilder file structure

The TableBuilder product is a single-level file that counts persons and has data items as collected at the Census of Population and Housing.

A complete list of data items included on each ACMID product is provided in the Data downloads section. For the 2011 ACMID product, see 2011 ACMID TableBuilder file structure.

Topics include general demographic and geography characteristics, employment, income and unpaid work, education and qualifications, cultural and language diversity, migration characteristics, as well as permanent visa characteristics.

All data items are created at person level. This includes data items relating to the dwelling, family and household of the person linked in the dataset. For ease of use, these data items have been divided into Person, Dwelling, Household, Family and Spouse Related groupings.

Using DataLab

The DataLab is an analysis solution available for users to run complex statistical analyses. It allows real time access to microdata files through a portal to a secure ABS environment, allowing users to run advanced statistical analyses using recent analytical software.

Controls in the DataLab have been put in place to protect the identification of individuals and organisations. These controls include environmental protections, data de-identification and confidentialisation, access safeguards and output clearance.

All unit record data remains in DataLab, and all output from DataLab sessions must be approved by an ABS officer before it is released. Further information is available via Input and output clearance.

Information about accessing and using the DataLab are available via the DataLab information and Using your workspace pages.

Using DataLab responsibly and Responsible use of ABS microdata explain your obligations as a user of ABS microdata products.

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

Data produced using the detailed microdata files in the DataLab will not necessarily match published data or data obtained through the TableBuilder product, both of which are perturbed prior to release to ensure confidentiality is maintained. Due to the procedures used for confidentialising the data produced via the DataLab, perturbation is not required.

Data downloads

Data files

Previous releases

 TableBuilder data seriesMicrodataDownloadDataLab
Australian Census and Migrants, 2011TableBuilder Detailed Microdata
Australian Census and Migrants, 2016TableBuilder Detailed Microdata

History of changes

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Related information

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3417.0.55.001.

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