The survey is conducted on a periodic basis every 5 to 10 years.
The Community Survey is a nationally representative, large-scale household survey which is designed to provide information on the extent of poor households in South Africa, their access to services, and levels of unemployment, at national, provincial and municipal levels. The main objectives of the survey are:
1. To fill data gaps between national population and housing censuses
2. To provide estimates at lower geographical levels than existing household surveys
3. To build capacities for the next census round
4. To provide inputs to the mid-year population projections.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution.
The scope of the Community Survey includes:
Particulars of dwelling
Location and description of dwelling unit. This section was completed by the interviewer.
Questions on demographics, migration, general health and functioning, parental survival, education, employment, income and social grants and fertility. This section was completed for all household members and visitors who were present on the night of the 6/7th March 2016
Housing, household goods, services and crime, and agricultural activities
Perception questions on satisfaction with basic service, questions on housing, household goods and services, crime, agricultural activities and food security
Emigration: Questions on sex, age, country of residence and year moved for each member of the household who have emigrated to another country since March 2006 and are still residing there
Questions on sex, age, year and month of death and maternal mortality for each member of the household who passed away 12 months prior to the reference night of the survey
morbidity and mortality [14.4]
social conditions and indicators [13.8]
economic conditions and indicators [1.2]
health care and medical treatment [8.5]
specific social services: use and provision [15.3]
The survey covered the whole of South Africa.
The lowest level of geographic aggregation of the data is local municipality.
The Community Survey covered all de jure household members (usual residents) in South Africa. The survey excluded collective living quarters (institutions) and some households in EAs classified as recreational areas or institutions.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
The sampling procedure that was adopted for the CS was a two-stage stratified random sampling process. Stage one involved the selection of enumeration
areas, and stage tw0 was the selection of dwelling units. Since the data are required for each local municipality, each municipality was considered as an explicit stratum. The stratification is done for those municipalities classified as category B municipalities (local municipalities) and category A municipalities (metropolitan areas) as proclaimed at the time of Census 2001. However, the newly proclaimed boundaries as well as any other higher level of geography such as province or district municipality, were considered as any other domain variable based on their link to the smallest geographic unit - the enumeration area.
The main goal of CS 2016 is to produce estimates of key indicators at local municipality level. The sample was designed such that direct survey estimates for these indicators could be produced at municipal level. The weighting approach is based on the sample design. Information on weighting can be found in the technical report.
The CS 2016 questionnaire consisted of six main sections, 11 sub-sections and a total of 225 questions. A first draft of the paper questionnaire was developed in February 2015 and various versions were reviewed and updated thereafter based on discussions with stakeholders. The target population of the survey was all persons in the sampled dwelling who were present on the reference night (i.e. the night between 6 and 7 March 2016). The final CAPI questionnaire was made up of three person rosters. One roster was utilised for the person information, one roster for emigration and one roster for mortality.
Dates of Data Collection
Statistics South Africa
The Community Survey 2016 data was released in 2017. There are four data files. These are files for households, persons, mortality, and emigration. The emigration file is currently not available. Statistics SA has not provided an explanation for the missing file. DataFirst is working to obtain this file, and will add the data file to the dataset we publish once we have it.
The Community Survey 2016 is also missing employment and income data. Data on employment type and employment status data was collected with questions 3.7.6 - 188.8.131.52 of the questionnaire. Income data was collected with questions 3.7.7. - 184.108.40.206. According to Statistics SA, the data from these questions was not released because changes in collection methodologies resulted in this data not being comparable with the employment and income data in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey.
Public use files, accessible to all.
Statistics South Africa. Community Survey 2016 [dataset]. Version 1. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2017. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2017.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The information products and services of Stats SA are protected in terms of the Copyright Act, 1978 (Act 98 of 1978). As the State President is the holder of State copyright, all organs of State enjoy unhindered use of the Department's information products and services, without a need for further permission to copy in terms of that copyright.
Where a copy of the information is made available to any third party outside the State, the third party must be made aware of the existence of State copyright and ownership of the information by the State. The State (through Statistics South Africa) retains the full ownership of its information, products and services at all times. Access to information does not give ownership of the information to the client. The use of any data is subject to acknowledgement of Statistics South Africa as the supplier and owner of copyright.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will not be liable for any damages or losses, except to the extent that such losses or damages are attributable to a breach by Stats SA of its obligations in terms of an existing agreement or to the negligence or wilful act or omissions of Stats SA, its servants or agents, arising out of the supply of data and or digital products in terms of that agreement. The user indemnifies Stats SA against any claims of whatsoever nature (including legal costs) by third parties arising from the reformatting, restructuring, reprocessing and/or addition of the data, by the user.
Since there have been demographic changes in South Africa associated, inter alia, with internal and external migration, and population growth. This means that population profiles may have changed at differing geographic levels. Stats SA is not responsible for any damages or losses, arising directly or consequently, which might result from the application or use of these data.
University of Cape Town
DDI Document ID
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 2 : Identical to DataFirst zaf-statssa-cs-2016-v1- ID and DDI fields edited.