In 1997 the Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) of Brown University undertook a series of comparative training and research projects in three countries - Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Guatemala. The projects were concerned with the training of planners and researchers in procedures for collecting and analyzing information on migration and its relation to development, women's status, health, and reproduction. Recognizing the importance of migration in South Africa and the pressing need for increasing the number of qualified researchers capable of focussing on this topic, in 1998 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided additional funds to add South Africa to the project. The Centre for Population Studies (CENPOPS) at Pretoria University was given responsibility for the project, working in cooperation with scholars from PSTC at Brown University. The focus of the South African project was on the country's black population. Migration is defined in the survey as movement from one district to another or, if movement is within a district, between a rural and an urban area.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the survey include communities, households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised data for public distribution
The survey collected data on characteristics of rural locations included in the sampled areas, household characteristics and data on the migration status of household members.
The survey had national coverage
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is magisterial district.
The survey covered the African South African population 18 years or older.
Producers and sponsors
Centre for Population Studies (CENPOPS)
University of Pretoria
Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC)
Brown University, USA
Human Sciences Research Council
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
For this study, a national sample of the African South African population 18 years or older was drawn. South Africa was stratified into three primary strata: (a) metropolitan areas, (b) other urban areas and (c) rural areas. Samples were then drawn independently from each of the three types of localities. Initially, in each of the three locality types, 800 respondents were to be drawn, resulting in a total sample size of 2,400. The 800 respondents in each stratum were to be drawn from 20 randomly selected Primary Sampling Units (PSUs), either a "transitional local council" (TLC) or a "transitional rural council" (TRC) in the following way: Four Enumerator Areas (EAs) would be randomly selected in each PSU. From each selected EA 10 households would be randomly selected, and finally, one adult respondent would be selected randomly in each household. It was later decided to draw 11 households in each EA, instead of 10, to ensure that there would be sufficient room to deal with refusals and non-responses.
Since the allocation of sample elements was not done proportionally, it was necessary to introduce unequal weights to the sample elements in order for the sample to be a true representation of the population.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Data was gathered between September 1999 and March 2000 by a team of 13 coordinators and 36 fieldworkers. Fieldwork took place in 56 areas that included 232 enumerator areas around the country.
was designed to gather information through a national sample survey at several levels: the community, the household, and the individual. To do so, three different questionnaires were developed to be used in the field surveys.
(i) A household questionnaire designed to obtain a household roster, information about the household as a unit, and information related to the migration status of the various household members;
(ii) An individual questionnaire designed to elicit information about a selected migrant or non-migrant adult member of the household, and
(iii) A community questionnaire designed to obtain information on the characteristics of rural locations included in the sampled areas.
South African Data Archive (SADA)
University of Cape Town
Licensed dataset, accessible under conditions.
A copy of any published work or report based in whole or part on the dataset should be deposited with the South African Data Archive (SADA).
Centre for Population Studies, Sociology Department, University of Pretoria. Internal migration of South Africa, 1999 [dataset]. Version 1. Pretoria: Centre for Population Studies [producer], 2001. Pretoria: South African Data Archive [distributor], 2003.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
Copyright, Centre for Population Studies, University of Pretoria