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

Samantha Richmond of NIDS Speaks to Smile FM and Cape Talk/702

All about NIDSSamantha Richmond, Senior Operations Manager of NIDS, was interviewed about the NIDS study by Smile FM’s Benito Vergotine on 25 October 2017 and Kieno Kammies of Cape Talk and 702 on 30 October 2017. During the interview with Kieno Kammies Samantha explained what NIDS is and what it is for and gave examples of some findings which have been drawn from NIDS. Listen to the interview and read a short description of the interview on 702’s website. During the longer interview with Benito Vergotine, Samantha spoke in more detail about the significance of NIDS and other longitudinal studies around the world and their contribution to evidence-based policy-making and the monitoring of policy. Additionally she described that the fifth wave of NIDS data is currently being collected and is due to be published at the end of August 2018. Listen to the interview on Soundcloud.


Business Day – Stable middle-class in SA may be smaller than thought, study shows

Unemployed youthOn 2 October 2017, an article by Murray Leibbrandt and Rocco Zizzamia was featured in Business Day. The article describes findings from their SALDRU working paper which was co-authored by Simone Schotte. Using NIDS data, their research focussed on economic vulnerability to delineate five social classes in South Africa. These were the elite, the stable middle class, the vulnerable middle class, the transitory poor and the chronic poor. The article describes the proportion of the South African population that falls within each of these categories, contrasts some of the characteristics of those in these different categories and outlines some strategies that the evidence suggests could promote growth of the stable middle class. View the article in Business Day or Read the SALDRU working paper from which the article was drawn.


Training and Outreach

NIDS Panel Data Course: An Introduction to Analysing Waves 1-4 using Stata, 6-8 December 2017, University of Cape Town

This is a three-day training course designed for people who are interested in using the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) panel data but have not yet done so. Participants should have prior experience using Stata to analyse cross-sectional household survey data.  Experience working with panel data is not necessary.

The course will cover the following topics:

• Accessing the NIDS data
• Data structure
• Merging within and across waves
• Attrition and sampling weights
• Creating analysis variables
• Creating and interpreting transition matrices.
The deadline for applications is 26 October 2017. Find out more about the course or Register Online.

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