Welcome to the National Income Dynamics Study

NIDS, telling the stories of the people of South Africa.

The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) has been providing empirical data on the changing lives of South Africans since 2008. NIDS is an initiative of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and is implemented by the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

As the first national panel study of individuals in South Africa, NIDS provides unique insights into the lives of individual South Africans over time. To help people effectively use NIDS, NIDS provides example findings, scholarships, summary videos and training on how to use its panel data.


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New Dataset including Wave 4

A new release of the NIDS data is now available. This release addresses 2 main issues affecting the weights variables, w’x’_pweight in the indderived data file and the w`x’_wgt in the hhderived data file (`x’ is the wave number). The issues are as follows:

1.  Missing panel weights for some babies born to CSM mothers after Wave 1 (2008).

2.  One (now adult) respondent with a missing weight.

Other minor issues can be found in the change documentation.

We recommend that users who have downloaded the data on or after the 19th May 2016 (Wave1_V6.0, Wave2_V3.0, Wave3_V2.0 and Wave1_V6.0) and have made use of the w’x’_pweight and the w`x’_wgt variables, re-run their analysis.

Download our datasets and program libraries.

NIDS in the Media

The Conversation – Moving to cities has lifted over 300,000 South Africans out of poverty, even in difficult times

All about NIDSAn article by Ivan Turok and Justin Visagie of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), about some of their research which used the NIDS data, was featured by The Conversation on 22 November 2017. The authors explain that their research estimates that approximately 385 000 South Africans moved from below, to above the poverty line between 2008 and in 2014, by moving from rural to urban areas. The authors give some context to this finding, providing examples of some of the economic benefits of urbanization whilst also explaining that many migrants appear not to fully commit to urban lifestyles. They suggest that a proactive urban policy could further increase urban migration lifting people out of poverty. View the article in The Conversation or listen to a PowerFM987 interview with Justin Visagie about this research and its findings.

Daily Maverick - NIDS Survey: A glimpse over high walls, in a country where many don’t answer their doors

All about NIDSOn 21 November 2017, Daily Maverick featured an article by Pippa Green regarding her experiences from accompanying some of the Geospace International fieldworkers who were working in the NIDS Wave 5 “sample refresh” areas (NIDS subcontracts Geospace international to undertake NIDS fieldwork). In the article, Pippa contrasts her experience with those of two years prior when she accompanied fieldworkers during a visit to a village in the Transkei during Wave 4 of NIDS. Read the article.


Training and Outreach

NIDS Hosts Year-End 3-day Panel Data Course

The 3-day NIDS Panel Data Course, which took place from 6 - 8 December at UCT’s School of Economics, provided an introduction to analysing the NIDS Wave 1-4 data using Stata. More specifically, the techniques used in the analysis of longitudinal household survey data (i.e. panel data) were explored. Accordingly, some of the topics covered over the 3 days included panel data management, transitions over time, weighting and differential attrition. The course was designed for people with prior experience using Stata to analyse cross-sectional household survey data and was attended by 22 economics researchers, lecturers, students and monitoring and evaluation practitioners from across South Africa. According to many of the attendees, the skills that they developed during the course will prove useful for their future research endeavours. Subscribe to the NIDS course mailing list if you would like to be notified of upcoming NIDS courses. Click here for more information about NIDS courses.

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