Black South Africans Throng Malls as Income Rises
|November 6, 2013||Posted by Staff under Economic Principles|
South Africa’s growing black middle class: 4.2 million people strong last year and double what it was in 2004.
The country now has more middle-class blacks than white, and the group spends more annually as well.
The newly affluent are moving from townships and the countryside to formerly whites-only suburbs, boosting the revenue of companies from car retailers to supermarkets.
Since 1994, national income per capita has climbed 40 percent, access to power has risen to more than 80 percent of the population from 50 percent and more than 3 million houses have been built.
Of a population of 53 million people, the number of black South Africans classified as the middle class rose from 1.7 million in 2004, the study showed.
While South Africa’s middle class is growing, the unemployment rate of 25.2 percent is the highest of more than 30 emerging-market nations. Income inequality has widened since 1994, with 35 percent of the population living on less than $51 a month. The Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality in which a reading of zero means society is totally equal, worsened to 0.63 in 2009 compared with 0.59 in 1993.
South Africa had a record 173 protests by township residents last year over a lack of housing and basic services.