Urban South African adolescents' perceptions of their neighborhood socio-economic environments: the Birth to Twenty plus cohort study

The Apartheid era led to major differences in the living conditions between population groups in South Africa. Subsequently, reforms have been implemented to reduce poverty and inequalities. This study aims to assess neighborhood and school socio-economic (SE) environments reported by adolescents to determine whether geographic and population group differences in the SE environment exist. Neighborhood SE status was assessed using a novel questionnaire adapted to the urban South African context. Black African and Mixed Ancestry participants lived in more deprived SE environments and reported studying in less favorable school environments compared to Whites. Among Black Africans, those living in Soweto versus metropolitan Johannesburg reported more deprived economic and school environments.