National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS)

The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) is the first national household panel study of income dynamics among individuals of all ages in South Africa to track and understand the changes in the lives of South Africans, rich and poor.

Commissioned by the DPME, the Implementing agency for NIDS is the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), based at the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town. The study began in 2008 with a nationally representative sample of over 28,000 individuals in 7,300 households across the country, and is undertaken with the same household members every two to three years, with each repetition of the survey constituting a “wave” in an ongoing statistical investigation.

As the panel unfolds, it reveals the dynamic structure of households in South Africa and changes in the living conditions and well-being of household members over time. A key feature of the study is its ability to follow people as they move out of their original households. 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. By tracking these changes in living conditions and social mobility, NIDS can analyse whether households are consistently poor or are going through a temporary setback, as well as indicate whether government interventions are having an impact.

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.


For more about NIDS, including data, questionnaires, and technical and discussion papers, visit www.nids.uct.ac.za.