What level of geography can I use?

We did not oversample any particular areas or regions in the initial sample (or in the Top-up sample added in 2011) and the sample is not designed to support small area estimates. There are also restrictions on the use of geographic variables as set out by DSS in the National Centre for Longitudinal Data Access and Use Guidelines . For the level of geography suitable for your particular analysis, you will need to let the sample guide you via the size of the appropriately calculated standard errors .

More detailed geographic variables are provided in the Restricted Release than the General Release. This is only so that users can build up alternative higher level geographic classifications from these standard lower level geographic classifications. The HILDA User Manual describes the geographic variables provided in the two datasets. See the ‘Geography’ section in the ‘Derived variables’ chapter (Section 4.3 in the HILDA User Manual ).

Finally, if your analysis is purely cross-sectional in nature, you should consider whether the Australian Bureau of Statistics has data that could better meet your needs. In many ABS surveys, smaller states and regions are oversampled to get more accurate estimates for those areas.