Dataset Link: Click Here
Update Date: 25 May 2020
In 1981, Dr John Lack of the Department of History at the University of Melbourne received a grant from the Australian Research Grants Committee to re-code and convert into digital form a sample of responses from the University of Melbourne Social Survey, undertaken by Wilfred Prest of the Faculty of Commerce between September 1941 and January 1943. Prest’s interviewers visited more than six thousand addresses in Melbourne (every thirtieth in the CBD and northern and western suburbs and every sixtieth in the eastern and south-eastern suburbs), recording detailed information about domestic conditions and living costs. They also recorded basic demographic information such as the age, earning status, income, occupation and, where relevant, pre-war occupation of those living at each address. Prest’s survey took place during a fourteen-year hiatus (from 1933-1947) in the Australian Census of Population and Housing and so fills an important gap in the statistical record for the areas surveyed. The completed survey forms are now held at the University of Melbourne Archives www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/archives/. Lack, together with Dr Graeme Davison and their research team, re-coded approximately 66 per cent of Prest’s surveys, resulting in coded data for around 4500 addresses. This data set opens up the results of Prest’s survey to new investigation and analysis and is a unique source of Australian household data for the period.