The Living in Australia study

Welcome to the Living in Australia study for 2016!


Australia has become part of an international move to have a better understanding of the needs of its people. This type of knowledge is crucial for good decision making, planning and support for Australians. The Living in Australia study is designed to meet this need.

Having begun in 2001, the study is known as the Living in Australia study and is sometimes referred to in the media as the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia study (HILDA).

In this study we collect and analyse information from thousands of different families and individuals across Australia. We ask questions about life in Australia including your employment, family relationships, education and wellbeing. This allows researchers to find out, for example, how one area in your life can affect other areas and how people remain the same or change over time. It can also show us how external factors such as Government decisions and world events affect our lives.

Ultimately this study is a source of information to those making economic and social welfare decisions for all Australians.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment to the Living in Australia study. This study is held in very high regard as seen by extensive coverage in the media and its wide use in publications.

What's new in 2016?

Now in its 16th year, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) study continues to be Australia’s leading household longitudinal study, influencing Australian policy decisions on a daily basis.

This year we are interested in the education, skills and abilities you use in everyday life. The focus questions include topics such as formal qualifications obtained and field of study, ability to hold a conversation in a language other than English and your child’s education.

In addition to these, you will also be asked questions that you are familiar with from previous years. These questions are equally important as together they help capture a complete picture of the people of Australia.
The data you provide gives key decision makers the information they need in order to make informed decisions about the future of Australia.


In the next few weeks an interviewer from Roy Morgan Research, the research company conducting the interviews, will visit you to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us.

contact us

New to the survey?

If you are visiting this website for the first time we hope you will have a look at some of the background information about the survey. We hope it contains all the information you need to know.

find out more

A message from Finn Pratt AO PSM, Secretary of the Department of Social Services (DSS)

Finn Pratt"The Department of Social Services aims to improve the lifetime wellbeing of people and families in Australia. Our ability to do this depends on developing a strong evidence base and working closely with our stakeholders.

The HILDA Survey is a powerful tool for gathering this evidence, capturing a range of important data about life for Australians. The data gives us and the research community an informed overview of the changing complexities of Australian society and enables us to create, innovate and improve policy. It provides a lens through which trends and changes in the Australian community and economy are clearly seen and enables the government to examine the effectiveness of policies and programs over time.

Thanks to the continued contribution of survey respondents, HILDA provides us with a formidable and authoritative information platform, which helps shape the future of social policies affecting the lives of millions of Australians."

Finn Pratt has been Secretary of the Department of Social Services since September 2013. He was previously Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and before that Secretary of the Department of Human Services and Chief Executive Officer of Centrelink.

Finn won a Public Service Medal in 2008 for his work on employment services and policy. In 2015 he was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration and for his work on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.