Generations and Gender Survey Australia Wave 1 & Wave 2



Generations and Gender Survey Australia Wave 1 & Wave 2

Alternate Title

GGS Australia Wave 1 & Wave 2


The GGS in Australia was "piggybacking" on the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The HILDA Survey is a panel household survey that started in 2001, with a wave each following year.

  • GGS Wave 1 corresponds to HILDA Wave 5 (2005-2006).
  • GGS Wave 2 corresponds to HILDA Wave 8 (2008-2009).

Peter McDonald


The Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) provides micro-level data with the aim of significantly improving the knowledge base for social science and policymaking in Europe and developed countries elsewhere. In Europe 2020, the European Union develops a strategy "to help us come out stronger from the crisis and turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion". The economic crisis affects not only day-to-day decisions, but also fundamental choices at all stages of people's lives: marriage and childbearing, the combination of employment and caring responsibilities for the young and the old, retirement, housing, and ageing well. The GGS has been developed to provide scientists with high-quality data to contribute scientifically grounded answers to these key policy questions. Survey content focuses on intergenerational and gender relations between people, expressed in care arrangements and the organization of paid and unpaid work. Key feature of the survey are:

  • Cross-national comparability. In each country data is collected on the basis of a common international questionnaire and guidelines about the methodology. Data processing includes central harmonization of national datasets.
  • A broad age range. It includes respondents between the ages of 18 and 80.
  • A longitudinal design. It has a panel design, collecting information on the same persons at three-year intervals.
  • A large sample size. It has an average of 9,000 respondents per country at Wave 1.
  • A theory-driven and multidisciplinary questionnaire. It provides data for policy relevant research by demographers, economists, sociologists, social policy researchers, social psychologists and epidemiologists. The questionnaire is inspired by the theory of planned behavior.
  • Possibility to combine the survey data with macro data provided by the GGP Contextual Database. This combination enables analyses of individuals and families in their cultural, economic, political, social and policy contexts.
The GGS core questionnaire was adapted to fit with the Australian context and because it was conducted as part of an existing longitudinal survey, a number of questions were dropped. Country-specific questions that were already asked within HILDA, have been harmonized to match as closely as possible to GGS.

PDF Documentation

Generations and Gender Survey Australia Wave 1 & Wave 2 - Documentation


Related Materials

HILDA Survey webpage


Related Materials

HILDA Wave 5 Questionnaires


Related Materials

HILDA Wave 8 Questionnaires


Related Materials

Australia_Questionnaire_W1 (corresponding to HILDA W5 Household Questionnaire)


Related Materials

Australia_Questionnaire_W2 (corresponding to HILDA W8 Household Questionnaire)


Related References

HILDA User Manual


Related References

HILDA Statistical Reports


Related References

HILDA Technical Paper Series


Related References

Australian country presentations at the GGP International Working Group Meetings



Fertility, Partnership, Transition to adulthood, Work-family balance, Gender relations, Intergenerational exchanges, Informal and formal care, Well-being and health, Grandparenthood, Economic activity, Retirement
Geographical Coverage Description

It covers the six Australian states and two territories outside the borders of the states, excluding remote and sparsely populated areas.




Kinds of Data
Survey data
Analysis Unit

Data Collection

Collection Organization
Data Collection Date
Mode of Data Collection

WAVE 1 • Method: Face-to-Face, Telephone and Self-administered were used. 93.5 per cent of respondents (N=11,932) were interviewed face-to-face, while 6.5 per cent (N=827) were interviewed by telephone. Respondents were also given a self-completion questionnaire to fill in. • Technique: Paper and Pencil (PAPI).

WAVE 2 • Method: Face-to-Face, Telephone and Self-administered were used. 10.1 per cent of the respondents were interviewed by telephone. Respondents were also given a self-completion questionnaire to fill in. • Technique: Paper and Pencil (PAPI).

The vast majority of the data were collected though face-to-face interviews. While telephone interviews and assisted interviews were conducted to ensure a high response rate, they are only used as a last resort. Due to the fact that some households moved outside of the areas originally selected across Australia in wave 1 and the desire to interview as many people as possible, more telephone interviews are necessary in later waves.

Actions to Minimize Losses


  1. Dealing with nonresponse
  • Incentives: a cheque for $25 to each person of the household who participated; plus a bonus $25 in case everybody in the household took part.
  1. Tracking of sampled units 2.1 Respondent contact information: Yes, contact details of the respondent were collected. These included work and mobile phone numbers, emails, and new address if the respondent was planning to move in the next 12 months, and knew his/her new address. 2.2 Other contact information: Yes. One to two contacts were obtained from the sample members of people who were most likely to know where they were if they moved. Work, home and mobile phone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses were collected for these contacts. 2.3 Cards: Yes a follow-up newsletter was sent. 2.4 Additional surveys: DK 2.5 Administrative records: No.

WAVE 2 ACTIONS Same as Wave 1.

Collection Situation


  1. Interviewers 1.1 Total number of interviewers: 132
    1.2 Number of interviewers in the field: DK. 1.3 Network organization: DK. 1.4 Working arrangement of interviewers: DK. 1.5 Payment of interviewers: DK.

  2. Interviewer training 2.1 General interviewing: Yes, with a briefing session covering the aims of the survey, fieldwork procedures, questionnaire content, and strategies to maximise response rates. 2.2 Survey specific: NA. 2.3 Length: The main briefing period took place over two days. Less experienced interviewers were also provided with an extra days training session focusing on refusal aversion.
    2.4 Control of performance: Yes. Regular monitoring of each interviewer's response rate and progress against fieldwork schedule. Reallocation of workloads of under-performing interviewers to better interviewers, and scrutinisation of work returned by interviewers and provision of feedback especially in relation to the quality of the data collected. Supervisors re-contacted respondents to validate a minimum of 10 per cent of the questionnaires completed by each interviewer. The supervisors validated a selection of questions with the respondent as well as questioning any discrepancies identified in the provided information. 2.5 Interviewer survey: NA.

  3. Contact protocols 3.1 Advance letter: A Primary Approach Letter and Newsletter were sent about one month prior the interviewer was supposed to contact the household. The newsletter informed about some results from prior waves of HILDA Survey. Households with new entrants to the survey, were given a New Entrants Brochure, which provided additional information about the study, why they had been asked to participate, and a method to opt out of the study. 3.2 Cold contacts: NA. 3.3 Scheduling / scattering: Yes, calls were made on a minimum of five different days, not all of which could be consecutive. A mix of daytime and evening times were used. 3.4 Contact history: Yes. 3.5 Min number of contacts: No. 2.6 Max number of contacts: Yes. The interviewer had up to six calls to make contact and a further six calls to undertake all of the interviews once contact had been made. If a household had to be put into tracking and was found, the initial call allocation to make contact with the household was carried over to the next period of the fieldwork. When following up a household, the interviewer had a total of five calls to finalise the household.

  4. Questionnaire localization 4.1 Validation: NA. 4.2 Pre-test: A pilot was carried out in April 2005 (500 respondents). 4.3 Length of interview: The average length of the person interview was 31.7 minutes for a 'continuing sample member' who had also been interviewed at least once in previous HILDA surveys; 37.5 minutes for a 'new sample memember'. There was an additional 30 minutes on average to complete a self-completion questionnaire, and 6 minutes for the household form.


  1. Interviewers 1.1 Total number of interviewers: 138
    1.2 Number of interviewers in the field: DK. 1.3 Network organization: DK. 1.4 Working arrangement of interviewers: DK. 1.5 Payment of interviewers: DK.

  2. Interviewer training Same as Wave 1 (see above).

  3. Contact protocols Same as Wave 1 (see above).

  4. Questionnaire localization 4.1 Validation: NA. 4.2 Pre-test: The questionnaires are developed over the 9-month period prior to the main fieldwork for each wave. 4.3 Length of interview: The average length of the person interview was 35.8 minutes. There was an additional 30 minutes on average to complete a self-completion questionnaire, and 6 minutes for the household form.



Time Method


Sampling Procedure


  1. Sampling frame 1.1 Type of frame: List of geographic units - 1996 Census districts (CDs). This frame excluded CDs that had zero land area (usually used for homeless people or off-shore/migratory people) or were remote or sparely populated. 1.2 Frame coverage: NA 1.3 Frame size: From 34,422 Census Districts in 1996, CDs defined as remote or sparsely populated were excluded. In addition CDs that had zero land area were also excluded. A sample of 488 CDs were then selected. 1.4 Level of units available: Dwelling

  2. Sampling method 2.1 Sampling method type: Multistage 2.2 Sampling stage definition

    • PSU: Census District
    • SSU: Dwellings
    • TSU: Households 2.3 Sampling stage size
    • PSU: 448
    • SSU: 12,252 ( 22-34 dwellings chosen within each census district depending on the expected response and occupancy rates of the area)
    • TSU: 7800 2.4 Unit selection: Census District Selection.The list of 1996 Census Collection Districts (CDs) formed the area-based frame from which 488 CDs were selected.The frame of CDs was stratified by State, and within the five largest States in terms of population, by metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions. The CDs were sampled with probability proportional to their size as measured by the number of dwellings (unoccupied and occupied) recorded in the 1996 Census. To ensure the sample of CDs selected provided good coverage of the CDs in the frame, the CDs were sorted by statistical sub-division and section of State. Within each of these groups, the CDs were sorted into geographical (or serpentine) ordering based on the centroid of the CDs. Using a random start, a systematic selection of CDs was then undertaken by staff at the Melbourne Institute. 2.5 Final stage unit selection: Dwelling selection and Household selection.
      • Dwelling selection: ACNielsen used a specifically trained team of interviewers to visit each selected CD and provide a full listing of the dwellings from which dwellings were selected for the [HILDA] Wave 1 sample. The interviewers followed a predetermined route around the entire CD to list all dwellings they came across. Particular attention was paid to ensure that all dwellings had an equal probability of selection, including granny flats, flats, residential warehouses and battleaxe properties. The actual number of dwellings selected within each CD varied depending on projected variations across CDs in response rates and in occupancy rates. The response rate assumptions were based on ACNielsen's experience with survey response rates within the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas of each State. The occupancy rates are based on the 1996 Census occupancy rates, with the additional qualification that no more than 10 additional selections could be added to cover the expected number of unoccupied dwellings. Given a targeted average of 16 responding households per CD, this meant the selected sample had to be large enough to generate 23 occupied in-scope dwellings per CD. The average number of selected dwellings was thus 25. The selection of dwellings from those listed occurred as follows: The initial dwelling was selected at random from the list of dwellings in the area. A skip of five in urban areas and two in rural areas was then applied to select the remainder of the dwellings required for the area. This ensured that the cluster of dwellings selected from each CD was sufficiently spread out across the CD while not generating large travel costs. For five of the more remote CDs selected that were extremely large in size, a block selection stage was used so that the entire CD did not have to be listed. For each of these areas, a satellite map which details the buildings in the CD was used to divide the CD into blocks with an approximately equal expected number of dwellings in each. A sample of these blocks was selected for full block listing.
      • Household selection: Where a dwelling contained three or fewer households, all such households were sampled. Where there were four or more households occupying one dwelling, a random sample of three households was obtained. Where there were four or more households occupying one dwelling, all households had to be enumerated at the time of first contact and a random sample of three households obtained. 2.6 Within Household unit selection: All household members aged 15 and over interviewed. 2.7 Stratification: Explicit

AUSTRALIAN GGS WAVE 1 The sampling procedure above outlined, describes the method used to select the initial HILDA sample. However, the GGS Wave 1 did not come from the first wave of HILDA, but rather from Wave 5. The selection of the sample in Wave 5 would have been determined in large part from the initial sample selection used when HILDA first started. However, some people who participated in Wave 5 of HILDA (Wave 1 of GGS), would have been new people who entered after Wave 1 and who wound not have been exposed to the same sample selection as the respondents who had participated since Wave 1. Over time, the Wave 1 household members are followed but the sample is also extended to include: • any children born to or adopted by members of the selected households; and • new household members resulting from changes in the composition of the original households. • a new household member that arrived in Australia for the first time after 2001 (since HILDA Wave 9). Continuing Sample Members (CSMs) include all members of wave 1 households (including children). Any children born to or adopted by CSMs are also classified as CSMs. Further, all new entrants to a household who have a child with a CSM and any recent immigrants to Australia (arriving after 2001 for the Main Sample, 2011 for the Top-Up Sample) are converted to CSM status35. CSMs remain in the sample indefinitely. All other people who share a household with a CSM in wave 2 or later are considered Temporary Sample Members (TSMs). Where the household has moved, split or moved and split, the interviewers and office staff track the CSMs. The CSMs (along with their new household) are then interviewed, where applicable, at their new address or by phone.36 TSMs that split from a household and are no longer part of a household with a CSM are not followed. However, if the TSM is converted to a CSM, then they are followed for interview as any CSM would be.

AUSTRALIAN GGS WAVE 2 The sample is represented by respondents who participated to HILDA Wave 5.


Data Processing

Processing Events


Archive Information

Appears Within




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Revision Date Responsibility Rationale
5 11/15/2022 2:53:00 PM
4 11/15/2022 2:29:29 PM
3 11/8/2022 4:27:49 PM
2 11/8/2022 3:58:56 PM
1 10/15/2021 7:42:58 AM

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