Australia's Survey of Income and Housing
This is an important national survey that collects information about the income, housing and living arrangements of Australian households and how they change over time.
Your participation is an opportunity to make a real difference. The information you provide will contribute to important decisions being made for your local area and the wider Australian community, such as decisions about income support, pensions and living costs like housing and childcare. To find out more about this survey, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below.
Ready to complete your survey now?
Click the button below to create your ABS Survey Account and complete your survey online.
Frequently Asked Questions
About this survey
This information is particularly important right now in measuring the impact that the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on peoples’ ability to meet key living costs, and the broader Australian economy.
How is the information from this survey used and why is it important?
Results are used by governments, researchers and community groups to better understand the social and economic wellbeing of people in Australia. The information you provide will contribute to important decisions being made for your local area and the wider Australian community.
By taking part, you can ensure that your experiences and circumstances become part of the story of life in Australia today. Decisions about income support, pensions, plans for retirement and living costs such as housing and childcare can be made by analysing the data from this survey. The information you provide will help to shape policies and services which improve the lives of all Australians.
Why was my household selected?
Rather than survey the whole population, we use a scientific sampling process designed to collect data which builds a picture that includes people from all areas of Australia. All households have a chance of being selected for this important national survey.
Once a household has been selected, another household cannot be substituted in its place, as changing the random selection could mean some parts of the community are under or over represented.
It is important that all selected households complete the survey in order to make sure the results represent the whole community. This means that decisions made about services provided by government, local councils and community groups are made using the most accurate information.
If you are unable to respond online, please call us on 1800 462 609 to discuss your participation in the survey.
To respond online please follow the instructions in the letter that we sent you. This includes step-by-step instructions for you to create your ABS Survey Account and start your survey online.
If you are having trouble accessing your form, completing the survey, or have lost your Form Access Code, please call us on 1800 462 609 and an ABS officer will be happy to assist you.
If we don’t hear from you before the due date (shown on the letter we sent), an Interviewer may make contact with your household to complete the survey.
For information about the ABS response to COVID-19, and how the ABS is safely collecting data during this time, click here.
Who in my household will be required to participate?
Then, we will ask each person in your household, aged 15 years or older, to answer questions about their income, education and other topics. All people completing the survey may need to refer to financial records in order to answer their part of the survey. To work out what types of records might be useful click here.
The Survey Account login details created by your household representative can be used to start, save and return to submit the survey.
For people in the household that are between 15 and 17 years of age, the consent of a parent or guardian is required before they complete the survey. Alternatively, the parent or guardian can answer the survey on their behalf.
Is the survey compulsory?
Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information being requested, unless otherwise specified. All the information you provide will remain strictly confidential and is protected under the Act.
What financial records might be useful to complete the survey?
Housing Costs and Household loans:
What kinds of questions will you ask?
You may receive calls from numbers that you are not familiar with including mobile phones or “unknown” numbers. This is because many of our Interviewers are teleworkers and use ABS authorised mobile phones and office phones, connected to our highly secure networks, to conduct interviews over the phone.
Remember - The ABS will NEVER ask you to provide or confirm your bank details.
If you are concerned, you can call us on 1800 462 609 and we will verify your selection in the survey and the identity of the Interviewer who is contacting you.
What happens if there are people in my household who don't speak English?
Will I be paid for my time?
How will you keep my information safe, secure and confidential?
All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Security in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years jail, a $26,640 fine, or both.
Will the information I provide be combined with other data?
We often combine data from two or more surveys because combining data helps fill the gaps — and saves you time. Combining data helps provide a clearer picture of Australia than what can be achieved by any one survey alone, and creates new insights about our society and the economy. By reusing existing data, we reduce the need for Australian households and businesses to provide more information.
Governments, researchers and community groups will use this vital data to better understand Australians income, housing and living arrangements. This will help design policies and services to improve the lives of Australians.
How can I provide feedback about my experience in the Survey of Income and Housing?
You can use our feedback form to provide us with feedback. For this survey, please select the option "Participation in an ABS Household Survey".
I'm having trouble completing the survey online – where can I find help?
You can also call us on 1800 462 609 and one of our team will be happy to assist you.
Who can I contact for more information?