Changing boundaries: Overcoming modifiable areal unit problems related to unemployment data in South Africa.

Show simple item record Weir-Smith, G 2017-01-09T09:22:14Z 2017-01-09T09:22:14Z 2016-03
dc.identifier.issn 0038-2353
dc.description.abstract The longitudinal comparison of census data in spatial format is often problematic because of changes in administrative boundaries. Such shifting boundaries are referred to as the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP). This article utilises unemployment data between 1991 and 2007 in South Africa to illustrate the challenge and proposes ways to overcome it. Various censuses in South Africa use different reporting geographies. Unemployment data for magisterial districts of census 1991 and 1996 were re-modelled to the 2005 municipal boundaries. This article showed that areal interpolation to a common administrative boundary could overcome these reporting obstacles. The results confirmed more accurate interpolations in rural areas with standard errors below 3300. Conversely, the largest errors were recorded in the metropolitan areas. Huge increases in unemployment between 1996 and 2001 statistics were also evident, especially in the metropolitan areas. Although such areas are more complex in nature, making it more difficult to accurately calculate census data, the increase in unemployment could also be the result of census taking methods. The article concludes that socio-economic data should be available at the smallest possible geographic area to ensure more accurate results in interpolation. It also recommends that new output areas be conceptualised to create a seamless database of census data from 1991 to 2011 in South Africa. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016. The Author(s). Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence. en_ZA
dc.subject Areal interpolation en_ZA
dc.subject Census en_ZA
dc.subject Data aggregation en_ZA
dc.subject Socio-economic trends en_ZA
dc.subject Unemployment en_ZA
dc.title Changing boundaries: Overcoming modifiable areal unit problems related to unemployment data in South Africa. en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 112 en_ZA
dc.journal.title South African Journal of Science en_ZA
dc.description.librarian NCS2016 en_ZA
dc.citation.doi 10.17159/sajs.2016/20150115 en_ZA
dc.citation.issue 3/4 en_ZA

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