Black living standards and inequality in South African history

Lead researchers: Johan Fourie and Bokang Mpeta

One of the most telling changes since the democratic transition in 1994 has been the widening within-race inequality (and the declining between-race inequality). Black inequality today, measured by the Gini coefficient, is almost as high as total inequality. It is therefore surprising that the evolution of black inequality before the democratic transition has received almost no attention in the academic literature. We use historical voters’ rolls, civil and census records, collections of anthropometric records, and military attestation forms to measure nineteenth and early-twentieth century black inequality.

Funding: National Research Foundation Thuthuka-grant and Rated Researcher-grant