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DHS-IPUMS-I South Africa regions, 1998-2016

Codes and Frequencies

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DHS_IPUMSI_ ZA provides geographic codes for South Africa that match those in the IPUMS-DHS and IPUMS-International databases. This variable can be used to link contextual area data from IPUMS-DHS to IPUMS-International or vice versa. The codes in DHS_IPUMSI_ZA indicate the major administrative unit--in this case, grouped provinces--in which the household and its members were enumerated or surveyed.

GIS shapefiles for the integrated South African samples, using the units in DHS_IPUMSI_ZA, can be downloaded here.


The units in DHS_IPUMSI_ZA are harmonized across IPUMS-DHS and IPUMS-International samples to account for changing boundaries in the major administrative level of geography. The time span for DHS samples is 1998 to 2016 and corresponds to the census samples from 2001-2016 in IPUMS-International.

The 1996 IPUMS-International census was excluded from this variable because of inconsistent boundaries. Substantial boundary, specifically redrawing internal boundaries in the urban areas post-apartheid South Africa, occurred. In addition to these changes, several boundary changes occurred in South Africa from 1998 to 2016:

  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of North West became Northern Cape
  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of Gauteng became North West
  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of Mpumalanga became Limpopo, also the name of Northern Province changed to Limpopo in 2003
  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of Mpumalanga became Gauteng
  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of KwaZulu-Natal became Eastern Cape
  • Around 2005: Umzimkulu municipality moved from Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal
  • Between 2007 and 2011, parts of North West became Gauteng


  • South Africa 1998: All women age 15-49.
  • South Africa 2016: All women age 15-49.
  • South Africa: 1998-B, 1998-W, 1998-H, 1998-C, 2016-W, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2016-M, 2016-H