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ABS Survey of Income and Housing 2009-10

Identifying and definitional attributes

Item type:Help on this termData Source
Description:Help on this term


The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) (previously known as the Survey of Income and Housing Costs (SIHC)) is a household survey which collects information on sources of income, amounts received, housing characteristics, household characteristics and personal characteristics. Income is collected on both a current and financial year basis. In some cycles from 2003-04, information on household net worth is also collected. The survey scope covers residents of private dwellings in both urban and rural areas of Australia. The survey was conducted for most years from 1994-95 to 2003-04 (no survey was run in 1998-99 or 2001-02), from which year it is being conducted biennially.


The principal objective is to facilitate the analysis and monitoring of the social and economic welfare of Australian residents in private dwellings. The main users are government and other social and economic analysts involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of social and economic policies.

The major uses for the income data are poverty studies, planning income support, taxation policy and comparing the wellbeing of individuals or groups of individuals.

The major uses for the housing data are housing affordability studies, housing assistance schemes and the comparison of the costs of various types of tenure.


The survey collects information from usual residents of private dwellings in urban and rural areas of Australia, covering about 98% of the people living in Australia. Private dwellings are houses, flats, home units, caravans, garages, tents and other structures that were used as places of residence at the time of interview. Long-stay caravan parks are also included. These are distinct from non-private dwellings which include hotels, boarding schools, boarding houses and institutions. Residents of non-private dwellings are excluded.

The survey also excludes:

  • households which contain members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia
  • households which contain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments
  • households in collection districts defined as very remote (in 2003-04 those in collection districts in defined as Indigenous Communities were also excluded). This has only a minor impact on aggregate estimates except in the Northern Territory where such households account for about 24% of the population.


Information is collected only from usual residents. Usual residents are residents who regard the dwelling as their own or main home. Others present are considered to be visitors and are not asked to participate in the survey.

Link to data source:Help on this term

Collection and usage attributes

National reporting arrangement:Help on this termThe Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) was conducted in 2007–08. The SIH has been conducted continuously from 1994–95 to 1997–98, and then in 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2005–06 and 2007–08. The 2007–08 SIH collected information from a sample of approximately 9,345 households over the period August 2007 to June 2008.
Frequency:Help on this termEvery two years.
Implementation start date:Help on this term01/07/2009
Implementation end date:Help on this term30/06/2010

Source and reference attributes

Reference documents:Help on this term