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Statistics SA releases Income and Expenditure of Households Survey

The 2010/11 Income and Expenditure Survey (IES) provides statistical information on household spending patterns. Some of the main findings of the survey are reported below.

The average household spent R95,000, with the highest bulk of spending going towards (1) Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 325); (2) Transport (17%); (3) Miscellaneous goods and services (14,7%); and (4) Food and non-alcoholic beverages (13%).

There are significant variations across household expenditure, depending on the gender and population group of the head of the household. Male-headed households spend twice as much as women-headed households and black African-headed households spend almost six times less than white-headed households. However, black African-headed households had the second largest percentage gain (35%) in average annual consumption expenditure.

Similar patterns are seen in the average annual household income. The average annual household income in male-headed households is more than double the income of women-headed households, and white-headed households have an average income that is more than five times higher than the average household income of black African-headed households. However, black African-headed households have shown the second largest (after Indian/Asian-headed households) increase in income between 2005/6 and 2010/11. Nonetheless, because the increase is from a low base, the increase does not translate into big rand gains.

Female-headed households made up the majority of households in traditional areas (53,5%), whereas 75,5% of all households in formal rural areas were headed by men, as were 65,7% of households in urban formal areas and 64,8% in urban informal areas.

Almost half of black African households fell into the bottom two expenditure quintiles and less than one in ten (8,8%) were in the upper quintile. More than half (55%) of all households in the lowest quintile were headed by women.


Click here to view Statistic South Africa’s IES report.