Evidence of short-term household change in South Africa from the National Income Dynamics Study
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Development Southern Africa
University of Cape Town
We use longitudinal data from the National Income Dynamics Study to document the extent of recent short-term residential and household compositional change in South Africa. We analyse the demographic correlates of these transitions, including population group, age, urban/rural status, and income. We examine educational and labour-market transitions among movers and the prevalence of the four major types of compositional change – births, addition of joiners, deaths, and loss of leavers. We find that short-term household change is prevalent in South Africa. During a two-year period from 2008 to 2010, 10.5% of South Africans moved residence and 61.3% experienced change in household composition. We find that moving is more common among blacks and whites, very young children, young adults, urban individuals, and those with higher incomes. Among non-movers, compositional change is more likely for blacks and coloureds, young adults and children, females, urban individuals, and individuals with lower incomes.