Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Continuation of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey

The Australian Government will provide $22.9 million over four years to continue the groundbreaking Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, announced today.

Senator Patterson said this additional funding has been committed to commence waves five to eight of the survey, which will provide a valuable source of information to help the government design and better target social and economic policies.

“Until recently there has been little long-term data in Australia about how different families work and how they react to changes which happen over time,” Senator Patterson said.

“HILDA is the first survey of its type in Australia that gives insight over time into people’s housing arrangements, income, wealth, workforce involvement, family relationships, health status and attitudes to work.

“The study has been so successful since it was established in 2001 that the findings are already being used by 14 Australian Government agencies plus 28 other government agencies and academic institutions.

“Altogether HILDA has over 200 registered users, and 27 research papers, 12 conference presentations and 9 publications have already been produced using findings from the first wave of the survey on issues such as housing, jobless households and the impact of long working hours on employed fathers and their families.

“The value of long-term studies is recognised around the world. A number of OECD countries have long-running longitudinal panels such as the USA’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics which has been running since 1968.

“Waves five to eight of the survey will commence from 1 July 2004 and I look forward to the results that these stages will provide us on how the lives of Australian families change over time.”