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Household finances: Households financial characteristics (2020)

Households financial characteristics (2020)

The General Social Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides information on the social characteristics, wellbeing and social experiences of people in Australia. The survey aims to provide an understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of relative advantage and disadvantage across the population, and facilitates reporting on people’s opportunities to participate fully in society, including their experiences of being without a permanent place to live.

The survey has been conducted every 4 years since 2002 to 2019. An additional survey was conducted from 15 June to 5 September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 survey methodology changed, and the survey was not conducted face to face; this issue should be considered when making comparisons to previous years.

The survey collects detailed information about the personal and household characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over in private dwellings throughout Australia (excluding foreign diplomats, members of non-Australian defence forces, visitors, people living in very remote areas and people living in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities).

In 2020, a sample of approximately 5,300 households across the states and territories was included in the survey to generate estimates and relative standard errors for the Australian resident population.

The General Social Survey includes information on a range of social dimensions such as household income, housing costs and financial statistics, financial stress by household composition, demographic characteristics, transport and mobility, education and employment.

General Social Survey data are also used in the following dashboard menu options: Financial statistics (2014), Financial stress (2014), People with experiences of homelessness (2014) and People without a permanent place to live (2019).

See ABS General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia ( for further information, including in-depth commentary and analysis, in particular the source data Quality Declaration. Source reference Data downloads, table 15 and table 16.