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Census Sample Files

A confidentialised sample of Census unit record data for modelling and analysis

1% and 5% sample unit record files of 2011 Census variables

Census Sample Files

Census Sample Files now available
A Census Sample File (CSF) is a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) of Census variables. This contains a small random sample of unidentified private households, associated persons, and a small random sample of persons in non-private dwellings.

For 2011, both a 1% and 5% sample have been produced. The release of the 2011 CSF will allow researchers to undertake detailed analyses and use them in conjunction with the Community Profiles to explore the statistical relationships of the issue under investigation.

The Basic CSF is a 1% sample unit record file and the Expanded CSF is a 5% sample unit record file.

The CSF contains Census characteristics for person, family and dwelling variables:
  • The person record includes topics such as age, sex, birthplace, language, income, occupation, qualifications, labour force and other demographic characteristics.
  • The family record includes family income and family type.
  • The dwelling record covers topics such as dwelling type and structure, number of bedrooms, housing costs and number of motor vehicles.

Detailed technical documentation is available in Microdata: Census of Population and Housing, Census Sample File (cat. no. 2037.0.30.001)

Most of the variables available from the 2011 Census are available in the CSF. However, some classifications, such as birthplace, industry, occupation and qualification are collapsed to less detailed levels, in order to protect the confidentiality of personal data. The CSF is released under strict conditions and clients are required to sign an undertaking stating that the information will be used for statistical purposes only.

The CSF is suitable for advanced users of Census data and is available as a charged product. Microdata access is priced in accordance with the ABS Pricing Policy and Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines, and access to CURFs is charged per organisation, not per person. Additional users of CURFs in an organisation will not incur additional charges and the ABS does not charge an annual or renewal fee for access.

For up-to-date information about the pricing of CURFs, refer to the Microdata prices web page.

For information on how to access Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) visit the Microdata entry page or email microdata.access@abs.gov.au.