Quality of Life in South Africa: Post-Apartheid Trends
During the apartheid era black South Africans indicated markedly lower levels of happiness and satisfaction in all spheres of life than their white counterparts. The gap between black and white subjective well-being closed temporarily after the first universal franchise elections held on April 27, 1994 only to widen again eighteen months later. The paper presents data on subjective well-being collected during the 1980s and 1990s in four nationwide cross-sectional attitude surveys and a multipurpose household survey. Possible explanations for the shifting levels of happiness are explored. These include levels of living, income inequality, rising expectations and new anxieties experienced in the post-apartheid era.