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South Africa, Province 2001 - 2016 [Level 1; consistent boundaries, GIS]

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GEO1_ZA identifies the household's province (provinsie) within South Africa from 2001 to present. Provinces are the first level administrative units of the country. GEO1_ZA is spatially harmonized accounting for political boundary changes across census years. Some detail is lost in harmonization; see the comparability discussion. A GIS map (in shapefile format), corresponding to GEO1_ZA can be downloaded from the GIS Boundary files page in the IPUMS International web site.

The full set of geography variables for South Africa can be found in the IPUMS International Geography variables list. For cross-national geographic analysis on the first and second major administrative level refer to GEOLEV1, and GEOLEV2. More information on IPUMS-International geography can be found here.

Comparability — General

Where boundaries changed over time, units were harmonized to create units with boundaries that remain stable over time.

Provinces for 1996 are not included in this spatially harmonized variable due to substantial changes in boundaries, specifically redrawing internal boundaries in the urban areas post-apartheid South Africa. Other changes include:

  • 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.
  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of Mpumalanga became Gauteng.
  • Between 2001 and 2007 - Parts of KwaZulu-Natal became Eastern Cape.
  • ~2005: Umzimkulu municipality moved from Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Between 2007 and 2011, parts of North West became Gauteng


  • All households


  • South Africa: 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016