The October Household Survey is an annual survey based on a probability sample of a large number of households (ranging from 16 000 in 1996 through to 30 000 in 1997 and 1998, depending on the availability of funding). It covers a range of development indicators, including unemployment rates (official and expanded), according to standard definitions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Kind of Data
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
v1.1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution.
Version 1 of the October Household Survey 1999 dataset is the dataset received from Statistics South Africa. In version 1.1 variables that were strings have been converted to numeric variables for ease of use.
The scope of the OHS 1999 includes: employment, unemployment, informal sector, internal migration, services available by type of dwelling, access to health and social services, safety and well-bring of household, households by average household size and type of dwelling, level of education, quality of life, health statistics, vital statistics.
The survey had national coverage
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is Province.
The survey covered households and household members in the nine provinces of South Africa
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
A sample of 30 000 households was drawn in 3 000 enumerator areas (EAs) (that is 10 households per enumerator area). A two-stage sampling procedure was applied and the sample was stratified, clustered and selected to meet the requirements of probability sampling. The sample was based on the 1996 Population Census enumerator areas and the estimated number of households from the 1996 Population Census The sampled population excluded all prisoners in prisons, patients in hospitals, people residing in boarding houses and hotels (whether temporary or semi-permanent). The sample was explicitly stratified by province and area type (urban/rural). Within each explicit stratum the EAs were stratified by simply arranging them in geographical order by District Council, Magisterial District and, within the magisterial district, by average household income (for formal urban areas and hostels) or EA. The allocated number of EAs was systematically selected with probability proportional to size in each stratum. The measure of size was the estimated number of households in Each EA. A systematic sample of 10 households was drawn.
The 1996 population Census was used as a basis for the weighting.
Household weights were calculated by using the reciprocal of the inclusion probabilities.
Since the sample selection was done in two stages (i.e. first stage - selection of an EA, second stage - selection of a household in the selected EA):
The inclusion probability of an EA (say p1):
Since this was done with probability proportional to size (size being the number of persons residing in the EA),
p1 = m . Ai/S Ai
mi - number of EAs in the sample in the i-th stratum (where stratum is the District Council in a province)
Ai - number of persons residing in the selected EA
S Ai - total number of persons in the population in the i-th stratum
The inclusion probability of the household (say p2):
Since ten (10) households (per EA) were selected systematically,
p2 = 10/number of households in the selected EA
Household weight = (1/p1.p2). Relative scaling was done on this weight. The 1996 Census figures (adjusted for growth) were used as benchmarks..
To calculate the person weight, the data was post-stratified by province, gender and age group (5 year age groups). The 1996 Census figures (adjusted for growth) were used as benchmarks. Relative scaling was also done on this weight to cater for the population group.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The data files in the October Household Survey 1999 correspond to the following sections in the questionnaire:
Person: Data from Section 1 and Section 4
Births: Data from Section 2
Children: Data from Section2
Worker: Data from Section 3
Migrant: Data from Section 5
House: Data from Section 6
Farming: Data from Section 7
Researchers should note that the birth data in the OHS 1999 is not comparable with the birth data in OHS for the years 1994-1998 because the birth history question was phrased differently in 1999.
The question on birth history in the questionnaires for OHS 1996-1998 was: 2.1 How many children (live births) have you ever given birth to?
In the 1999 OHS questionnaire the question asked was: 2.1 How many children (live births) has …… given birth to in the last 12 months?
The 1999 data does not therefore include a full birth history, only births in the 12 months before the survey interview.
Public access data for use under a Creative Commons CC-BY (Attribution-only) License
Central Statistical Service. October Household Survey 1999 [dataset]. Version 1.1. Pretoria: Central Statistical Service (now Statistics South Africa) [producer], 2000. Cape Town: DataFirst[distributor], 2013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/vasx-pv68