What is NIDS?

The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) is the first national household panel study in South Africa. It is an initiative of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and is part of an intensive multi-million rand effort on the part of the government to track and understand the shifting face of poverty.  The first five iterations of NIDS were implemented by the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) based at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics.

The study ran between 2008 and 2017 with a nationally representative sample of over 28,000 individuals in 7,300 households across the country. The core survey continued to be repeated with these same household members every two years to three years, with the latest interview round (or “wave”) being conducted in 2017. NIDS examines the livelihoods of individuals and households over time. It also provides information about how households cope with positive or negative shocks, such as a death in the family or an unemployed relative obtaining a job.

Other themes include changes in poverty and well-being; household composition and structure; fertility and mortality; migration; labour market participation and economic activity; human capital formation, health, and education; vulnerability, and social capital.

View the infographic which briefly explains what NIDS is, how it works, and how NIDS can be accessed.

In 2020, a special follow up with a subsample of adults from households interviewed by NIDS in 2017 is being conducted. This survey is called the National Income Dynamics Study: Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM).