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

What's new in 2021?

In our twenty-first year, the Living in Australia (HILDA) study will focus on your health and health care visits, sleep, and diet along with a general update from you. Most of us have faced new challenges and demands, especially in the last year. With this in mind, it is critical that we capture this important information for policy makers and researchers who are passionate about improving Australian life.

Professor Peter Butterworth

A message from Professor Peter Butterworth

For the past 20 years, the HILDA Survey has collected information about how Australians live and work, about their economic circumstances, their families and their relationships. This rich data has been used extensively by policymakers in government and by academic researchers. What is less recognised, however, is how important and influential the HILDA Survey has been in building our understanding of the health of Australians.

In my own research area of mental health there is no other Australian data comparable to HILDA. Each year the survey provides a snapshot of the mental health of the Australian population. This enables us to see, for example, how levels of distress have increased over time, particularly for younger Australians. The longitudinal data following the same people over time provides insights into how individuals’ mental health changes. With 20 years of data we can better understand whether people’s mental health varies significantly from year-to-year, the effect that different life transitions (e.g., leaving school, marriage, retirement) have on mental health, and how the social and economic context in which we are born, live and work influences our mental health.

HILDA continues to provide a unique resource to identify ways to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of Australians. This is only possible because of your willingness to participate in the HILDA interviews and to complete the surveys each year.

Thank you.

Peter Butterworth
Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Health and Medicine