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Living in Australia: The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey

Overview

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey is Australia’s first nationally representative household-based longitudinal survey.

HILDA provides longitudinal data on the lives of Australian residents on a wide range of aspects of life. This includes:

  • family dynamics
  • economic well-being
  • subjective well-being
  • labour market dynamics.

Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) fact sheet

Study participants

The survey commenced in 2001. The study collected data annually through interviews with all people over 15 years old in each household. In Wave one, the study collected data from 7,682 households (13,969 individuals). The wave 11 data collection added a sample top-up of 2,153 households (5,462 individuals).

Sample size and response rates

Persons In-Scope Population
(Number)
Respondents
(Number)
Wave response rate
(%)
Retention rate of wave 1
(%)
Wave 1 - 13,969 - -
Wave 2 16,023 13,041 81.4 85.9
Wave 3 16,529 12,728 77.0 80.1
Wave 4 16,859 12,408 73.6 75.6
Wave 5 17,218 12,759 74.1 74.4
Wave 6 17,702 12,905 72.9 72.2
Wave 7 18,075 12,789 70.8 68.9
Wave 8 18,406 12,785 69.5 67.0
Wave 9 19,011 13,301 70.0 66.2
Wave 10 19,514 13,526 69.3 64.4
Wave 11 24,017 17,612 73.3 62.9
Wave 12 24,731 17,475 70.7 61.1
Wave 13 25,297 17,500 69.2 59.4
Wave 14 25,739 17,511 68.0 58.1
Wave 15 26,227 17,605 67.1 56.9
Wave 16 26,691 17,693 66.3 55.6
Wave 17 27,029 17,570 65.0 54.6
Wave 18 27,427 17,434 63.6 52.7
Wave 19 27,847 17,462 62.7 51.1
Wave 20 28,358 17,070 60.2 49.2

Notes:

  1. Response rates are calculated as a percentage of the in-scope participants at the commencement of fieldwork for each wave. Response rates are not provided for wave 1.
  2. Retention rates are calculated as a percentage of the Wave 1 participants who completed each wave. They do not account for participants who are no longer in-scope (e.g. moved overseas, passed away) or new sample members recruited in subsequent waves. Therefore, they only partially reflect the full response picture.
  3. HILDA's in scope population tends to increase as new participants join households and children in existing households come of age to join the study.
  4. In Wave 11 a large top-up of new households occurred.

Governance

We are responsible for the HILDA Survey.

The Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne are responsible for design and management of the survey.

Roy Morgan Research collected data for Waves 9 to 20. The Nielsen Company collected data for Waves 1 to 8.

The HILDA Executive Reference Group includes leading researchers from a range of disciplines. They provide advice on the development of survey content.

The HILDA Technical Reference Group provides technical advice to the study.

HILDA data access

Data is available to approved researchers from government, academic institutions and non-profit organisations.

Access the HILDA data through Dataverse.

HILDA research

HILDA data has improved our understanding of the issues facing families regarding income and labour dynamics.

Data highlights

Data Highlight No.1/2014: Financial Hardship in Australia by Laura Bennetts Kneebone

Research summaries

Research Summary No.8/2016: Productive Engagement and Welfare Receipt: a Life Course Profile in Australia by Peng Yu

Statistical reports

Annual Statistical Reports

Technical reports

Technical Reports

Discussion Paper Series

HILDA Discussion Paper Series

Conference papers

HILDA Conference Papers

See FloSse Research for more research publications.

Contact

For further information, contact LongitudinalStudies@dss.gov.au

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