Extract from a blog post by Geoff Gilfillan
The latest results of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey were released in a report published on 2 August 2017. The results relate to data collected from 2001 to 2015.
HILDA is a nationally representative longitudinal study of Australian households funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and managed by the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne.
The major advantage of the HILDA survey is its longitudinal nature. Since 2001, questions have been asked of the same individuals and households every year— allowing researchers to examine how aspects of these individuals and households’ lives change over time. If the survey continues long?term, there is the potential to ask questions of current respondent’s children and their subsequent descendants.
The longitudinal nature of HILDA data allows researchers and policy makers to understand the dynamics of health and education of individuals, their labour market experiences and changes in income and spending patterns. In particular it allows analysis of whether some individuals become stuck in a persistent state of disadvantage such as relative income poverty, long term unemployment and reliance on welfare. The survey can also shed light on whether particular pre-conditions (such as low educational attainment and poor physical and mental health) contribute to disadvantage and whether experience with disadvantage entrenches or worsens pre-conditions or contributes to other negative outcomes such as marital breakdown and social exclusion.
Fifteen years of data are now available for researchers to use. Around 17,000 Australians are asked a series of questions each year. Topics include health, education and labour market participation, income, wealth, how individuals and households spend their income, what type of relationship they are in (or household composition), whether they have children and pay child care, whether they are retired and drawing on an age pension or superannuation (or a combination of both) and housing tenure (whether they are a private renter, home owner or paying a mortgage or living in public housing accommodation). The HILDA survey also provides some insights into preferences and life satisfaction of individuals.
The HILDA survey sample has been supplemented at various times due to attrition of respondents (i.e. the survey is topped up to make up for those who no longer wish to be interviewed) and to include recent migrants to make the sample and survey results more representative of the Australian population. Due to logistical issues the survey sample does not include Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians living in very remote communities…(continues)
SOURCE: Geoff Gilfillan, “What can HILDA tell you about Australia?”, Flag Post, Australian Parliamentary Library, 03 august 2017
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