CURF (Confidentialised Unit Record File) Microdata is the most detailed level of the ABS statistical data. This data is freely available for researchers to use as part of their research project.

Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF)

A Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) is a file of responses to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys or censuses with specific identifying information about persons and organisations confidentialised. The unit level for a CURF may be a household, an income unit or a family. 

CURF Microdata is the most detailed level of the ABS statistical data and it's made freely available to researchers in Universities, Government and the private sector.

A list of expected and available microdata is available on the ABS website. 

Please note that technical papers and user guides are available for only some of the datasets. The ABS also maintains a list of published research that has been created using its Microdata.

Typically the ABS Microdata is available in the following subject areas:

  • health, disability, nutrition
  • census household sample files
  • childcare
  • business innovation
  • business characteristics and performance
  • education, literacy and training
  • household expenditure
  • income and housing costs
  • labour force mobility
  • earnings
  • time use.

Applying for a CURF

VU academics and Postgrad students wanting to apply for CURF Microdata need to read How to Apply for Microdata on the ABS website and follow Step 2.

A message will be sent to Geordie Zhang, the University’s CURF Contact Officer who will moderate the access and distribute the CURF Microdata.

If you are working as part of a team, all participants should make a separate application for the CURF Microdata access.

More information about the CURF Microdata Application process is available on the ABS CURF FAQ web page. You can sign up to the ABS newsletter to alert you to new releases of its Microdata.


TableBuilder is an online ABS self-help tool designed for users who have a knowledge of Census concepts and some experience using Census data.

TableBuilder enables researchers to construct basic or complex tables of data. You can build tables (excluding Mesh Blocks) for all geographic areas as defined by the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

If you'd like to use TableBuilder with your Microdata, please contact