The units of analysis under observation in the South African census 1985 are households and individuals
V1.0 Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
Version 1.0 of the dataset from the South African Census 1985 was downloaded from Statistics South Africa's website on 1 July 2010.
In this version (1.1) downloaded 3 March 2011, variable labels have been changed to lower case, and missing variable labels (for dwelling, age, industry, sex and district) have been added.
The scope of the South African census 1985 includes the following characteristics:
Individuals: relationship within household, sex, age, marital status, population group, birthplace, country of citizenship, level of education, occupation, identity of employer and the nature of economic activity.
Households: dwelling type, type of area (rural/urban)
The 1985 census covered the so-called white areas of South Africa, i.e. the areas in the former four provinces of the Cape, the Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Natal. It also covered the so-called National States of KwaZulu, Kangwane, Gazankulu, Lebowa, Qwaqwa, and Kwandebele. The 1985 South African census excluded the areas of the Transkei, Bophutatswana, Ciskei, and Venda.
The 1985 Census dataset contains 9 data files. These refer to Development Regions demarcated by the South African Government according to their socio-economic conditions and development needs.
These Development Regions are labeled A to J (there is no Region I, presumably because Statistics SA felt an "I" could be confused with the number 1).
The 9 data files in the 1985 Census dataset refer to the following areas:
DEV REGION AREA COVERED
A Western Cape Province including Walvis Bay
B Northern Cape
C Orange Free State and Qwaqwa
D Eastern Cape/Border
E Natal and Kwazulu
F Eastern Transvaal, KaNgwane and part of the Simdlangentsha district of Kwazulu
G Northern Transvaal, Lebowa and Gazankulu
H PWV area, Moutse and KwaNdebele
J Western Transvaal
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the South African census 1985 is suburb. The suburb codes are supplied with the documentation.
The South African census 1985 census covered the provinces of the Cape, the Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Nata and the so-called National States of KwaZulu, Kangwane, Gazankulu, Lebowa, Qwaqwa, and Kwandebele. The 1985 South African census excluded the areas of the Transkei, Bophutatswana, Ciskei, and Venda.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
Although the census was meant to cover all residents of the so called white areas of South Africa, in 88 areas door-to-door surveys were not possible and the population in these areas was enumerated by means of a sample survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Statistics South Africa
The1985 population census questionnaire was administered to each household and collected information on household and area type, and information on household members, including relationship within household, sex, age, marital status, population group, birthplace, country of citizenship, level of education, occupation, identity of employer and the nature of economic activities
The following under-enumeration figures have been calculated for the 1985 census.
Estimated percentage distribution of undercount by race according to the HSRC:
Blacks in the “RSA” 20.4%
Blacks in the “National States” 15.1%
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.