SALDRU research brief: Middle class and inequality in South Africa
The high level of inequality in South Africa has added fuel to the debate surrounding the extent to which an African middle class has emerged in South Africa in the past 20 years. This paper analyses changes in income inequality and the composition of the middle class over a 15 year period using data from the 1993 PSLSD and NIDS Waves 1 and 2. The high level of inequality in South Africa makes defining the middle class difficult. In this study we use income decile groups four to seven to define the middle class, groups eight and nine to define the upper class and decile ten describes the top income group.