HILDA Survey Design

The Melbourne Institute has championed best-practice longitudinal survey methods and enabled researchers to produce powerful insights into Australian life via the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey for more than two decades.

The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey is a household-based panel study that collects powerful information about economic and personal wellbeing, labour market dynamics and family life. The HILDA Survey is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services.

As the designers and managers of the HILDA Survey, our researchers at the Melbourne Institute are uniquely placed to conduct high-level analysis of the data, and contribute to the important body of knowledge around best-practice longitudinal survey methods.

  • Championing best-practice survey methods

    The survey methods research that underpins the HILDA Survey data sets include:

    • Sample design
    • A collection methodology aiming to minimise participant attrition and measurement error
    • Design of survey instruments that enable the collection of key data on policy-relevant issues within a longitudinal context
    • Significant value adding such as imputing missing values and weighting
    • Matching of administrative data (e.g. death information).
  • Training and analysis

    We regularly run training courses for data users to promote rigorous analysis of HILDA Survey data. Courses aim to demonstrate how statistical techniques can be used to answer research questions of increasing complexity. Recent courses include:

    • Getting Started: Analysing HILDA with Stata
    • Introduction to Panel Data Analysis

    Details of upcoming training courses are available from Melbourne Institute Events.

    Given our wealth of experience with the HILDA Survey data, we are also uniquely placed to undertake analysis of the rich datasets in partnership with, or on a consultancy basis for, other organisations. To explore the options available, email hilda-inquiries@unimelb.edu.au.

  • Enabling powerful insights used for evidence-based policy development

    The HILDA Survey is the only nationally representative long-term study of households in this country and has followed the same group of Australians since 2001. The data capture how Australian lives are changing, providing a key source of evidence underpinning policy thinking in Australia across a wide range of fields, including childcare, education, employment, housing, income support, monetary policy, public health and wage determination.

    As well as informing research within the Melbourne Institute, the survey data lies behind a vast body of research undertaken by more than 3,000 external licensed users within Australia and overseas, including:

    • Australian Government Department of Education and Training
    • Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business
    • Australian Government Department of Social Services
    • Australian Treasury
    • Brotherhood of St Laurence
    • Deloitte Access Economics
    • Fair Work Commission
    • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
    • Productivity Commission
    • Reserve Bank of Australia
    • Smith Family
    • Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.

    As well as the far-reaching body of research supported through the HILDA Survey, our own publication of the annual HILDA Survey Statistical Report plays an important role in shaping public discussion about how Australian society is changing.

Program Details


Program Coordinator: Professor Mark Wooden

Research staff

Partnerships and Funding

This program is funded through grants and research contracts provided by a variety of sources, including the ARC, and the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.


Working Papers

Research Insights


Our projects