South Africa's first Living Conditions Survey (LCS) was conducted by Statistics South Africa over a period of one year between 13 October 2014 and 25 October 2015. The main aim of this survey is to provide data that will contribute to a better understanding of living conditions and poverty in South Africa for monitoring levels of poverty over time. Data was collected from 27 527 households across the country. The survey used a combination of the diary and recall methods. Households were asked to record their daily acquisitions in diaries provided by Statistics SA for a period of a month. The survey also employed a household questionnaire to collect data on household expenditure, subjective poverty, and income.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised data for public distribution
The data files for the Living Conditions Survey 2014-2015 were obtained from Statistics SA in May 2017, and uploaded as version 1. This version was missing most of the data collected on expenditure. The expenditure data was provided in a data file called "Total LCS" which was not included with the first release of this dataset. The full expenditure file was provided by Statistics SA in September 2017. We have added this data files, and reversioned the dataset to version 1.1, to indicate these changes. All data files are still version 1, however, as no changes have been made to these files. The new version number simply reflects the addition of the missing data file.
There were four modules in the household questionnaire. The first module collected data on the composition and structure of the household, and demographic data and data on education and employement of household membersThe second and third modules collected data on household expenditure on housing, clothing and footwear, telecommunications, transport, furniture and equipment, education, and health. These two modules also include questions on household assets, welfare, socially perceived necessities and crime. The fourth module collected data on subsistence, living circumstances, food security, income, and finance and banking.
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is Province.
The sample for the survey included all domestic households, holiday homes and all households in workers' residences, such as mining hostels and dormitories for workers, but excludes institutions such as hospitals, prisons, old-age homes, student hostels, and dormitories for scholars, boarding houses, hotels, lodges and guesthouses.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
The Living Conditions Survey 2014-2015 sample was based on the LCS 2008-2009 master sample of 3 080 PSUs. However, there were 40 PSUs with no DU sample, thus the sample of 30 818 DUs was selected from only 3 040 PSUs. Amongst the PSUs with no DU sample, 25 PSUs were non-respondent because 19 PSUs were not captured on the dwelling frame, and 6 PSUs had an insufficient DU count. The remaining 15 PSUs were vacant and therefore out-of-scope. Among the PSUs with a DU sample, 2 974 PSUs were respondent, 50 PSUs were non-respondent and 16 PSUs were out-of-scope. The scope of the Master Sample (MS) is national coverage of all households in South Africa. It was designed to cover all households living in private dwelling units and workers living in workers' quarters in the country.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The Living Conditions Survey 2014-2015 used three data collection instruments, namely a household questionnaire, a weekly diary, and the summary questionnaire. The household questionnaire was a booklet of questions administered to respondents during the course of the survey month. The weekly diary was a booklet that was left with the responding household to track all acquisitions made by the household during the survey month. The household (after being trained by the Interviewer) was responsible for recording all their daily acquisitions, as well as information about where they purchased the item and the purpose of the item. A household completed a different diary for each of the four weeks of the survey month. Interviewers then assigned codes for the classification of individual consumption according to purpose (COICOP) to items recorded in the weekly diary, using a code list provided to them.
Anthropometric data collected during the survey are not included in the dataset.
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
Public access data.
Statistics South Africa. Living Conditions Survey 2014-2015 [dataset]. Version 1.1. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2017. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2017.
Disclaimer and copyrights
DDI Document ID
University of Cape Town
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Identical to DataFirst zaf-statssa-lcs-2014-2015-v1.1. ID and DDI fields edited.