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 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.


DPME Logo       uct logo       saldru logo


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

Business Day - SA’s lost generation: Youth with no jobs and no hope

Unemployed youthOn 6 September 2017, Business Day featured an article by Cecil Mlatsheni and Vimal Ranchhod. In the article, the authors explain findings from their research which was funded by REDI3x3 and used the NIDS data. Their study followed a cohort of young people aged 15 to 34 in Wave 1 of NIDS (2008), through to Wave 3 of NIDS (2012) to establish the patterns of when, how and who of these youth got jobs. View the article in Business Day or Read the authors’ REDI3X3 article.

Training and Outreach

NIDS Panel Data Course Held at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)

dpme training1
A special 3-day Introduction to the NIDS Panel Data Course was held at the DPME offices in Hatfield from 6 to 8 September 2017. Given that NIDS is an initiative of the DPME, the aim of the course was to build a base of Stata users within the DPME with the skills to descriptively analyse the NIDS data. Topics covered during the course included an introduction to the design of the NIDS survey; the content of the NIDS questionnaires; an introduction to Stata data management and key descriptive commands in Stata; as well as how to examine transitions over time.

dpme training2

The DPME attendees reported that the skills that they acquired from the course would be useful for their future analytical work; mentioning the usefulness of these skills for developing research reports and policy reviews; responding to policy questions; as well as interrogating whether policy implementation is having an impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans.

Go to top