South Africa’s skewed income distribution when measured by race

 ·14 Aug 2016

New data published by Standard Bank shows the massive disparities in annual income when assessed by race.

South Africa’s white population has the highest income per capita (R215,000 per annum whereas black population have the lowest (R29,000 p/a).

Standard Bank noted that between 1996-2014, the Indian/Asian population saw the fastest growth in per capita income (468%).

Similarly, between 2011-2014, the Indian/Asian population saw the fastest growth in income per capita (28%), and coloureds had the slowest (20%).

Standard Bank said that in relative terms, for every R1 earned by white individuals, blacks earn 13 cents and this has not changed since 1996.

Read: Average yearly wealth: Tshwane vs Joburg vs Cape Town

“Notably, the Indian/Asia population seems to be closing the gap to whites quicker than to both blacks and coloureds. For every R1 earned by white counterparts, Indians earn 51 cents, up from 43 cents in 1996 and 50 cents in 2011.

“Compared to 2011, blacks and coloureds earned 1 cent less in 2014 for every R1 earned by their white counterparts,” the report said.

Intra-racial analysis shows that income inequality, as measured by Gini coefficient, is wider among black South Africans (0.58), and the gap has gotten even wider since 1996 (0.53).

The data found that among white South Africans, however, there is less income inequality (0.44), and it has become more equally distributed since 1996 (0.48). Between 2011 and 2014, income gap widened among all races.

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