Welcome to the National Income Dynamics Study

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

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

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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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.

Data Releases

New versions of Wave 1, Wave 2,  Wave 3 and Wave 4 are now available, including Admin Data. Data cleaning has been ongoing since the last release and new variables have been added.  Please download the latest data.  The data sets are available in Stata format only. Previously, the data was made available in R, SAS and SPSS. However all these programs now have a functionality to import Stata files.

NIDS data is hosted through the DataFirst portal based at the University of Cape Town. 
Clicking on a dataset link below will take you to the relevant page on the DataFirst portal.  Once there, to download the data click on the "Get Microdata" tab.

Note: First time users will be requested to register before downloading (please ensure to read the terms of use).  After registration you will simply need to log in when downloading data.   See the "how to register' video by clicking below:   

 Download the NIDS Wave 1 Dataset

 Download the NIDS Wave 2 Dataset

 Download the NIDS Wave 3 Dataset

Download the NIDS Wave 4 Dataset

 Download the NIDS Dataset from the Luxembourg Income Study Database (LIS)


Training Initiatives


SALDRU offers two training courses that instruct researchers how to use the data, an introductory course & an advanced panel data econometrics course. 

Latest Course:  NIDS Panel Data Course: An introduction to analysing waves 1-4 using Stata
31 July to 4 August 2017
This five day training course is designed for people who are interested in using the NIDS panel data but have not yet done so. Participants should have honours-level Econometrics, and prior experience using STATA to analyze cross-sectional household survey data. However, experience working with panel data is not necessary. It is essential that participants have basic STATA skills and have used microdata in the past.  Closing date for applications is 26 June.  Click here for more information or register online.

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