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

Business Day - The real state of the nation: How to solve long term problems

The real state of the nationIn a 20th of February Business Day article, Samantha Richmond, Senior Operations Manager at the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), discussed the state of South Africa. She revealed evidence on the lived realities of South Africans drawn from the NIDS data and outlined factors which should be considered in the new President’s eagerly awaited policy reforms. These factors emanate from analyses conducted by various experts using the data collected from 28,000 South Africans, and the people they live with, since 2008 in NIDS. For more details, read the full article.


Business Day - Poor nutrition is stunting intellectual development

Poor nutrition is stunting intellectual deOn 25 January, 2018, an article by Samantha Richmond, the Senior Operations Manager for NIDS, was published in Business Day. The article contributes to the ongoing national debate around making higher education affordable and accessible to all South African youth. Using findings from an analysis which used the NIDS data, Samantha warns of a potential blind spot in the current policy discourse. Her main focus in the article is the significant contribution of health towards educational outcomes. In particular, she refers to work by Daniela Casale (2016) which finds that poor nutrition is one of the factors which leads to poor education outcomes. More specifically, Casale’s analysis reveals that children who are stunted due to malnutrition in the early years of life enrol for Grade 1 later, repeat more grades and attain fewer years of education over the same period as their non-stunted counterparts. View the article in Business Day.


Training and Outreach

NIDS Hosts Year-End 3-day Panel Data Course

The 3-day NIDS Panel Data Course, which took place from 6 - 8 December at UCT’s School of Economics, provided an introduction to analysing the NIDS Wave 1-4 data using Stata. More specifically, the techniques used in the analysis of longitudinal household survey data (i.e. panel data) were explored. Accordingly, some of the topics covered over the 3 days included panel data management, transitions over time, weighting and differential attrition. The course was designed for people with prior experience using Stata to analyse cross-sectional household survey data and was attended by 22 economics researchers, lecturers, students and monitoring and evaluation practitioners from across South Africa. According to many of the attendees, the skills that they developed during the course will prove useful for their future research endeavours. Subscribe to the NIDS course mailing list if you would like to be notified of upcoming NIDS courses. Click here for more information about NIDS courses.

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