Johannesburg - The average income of whites is nearly eight times higher than that of blacks, the SA Institute of Race Relations said on Tuesday.
"White per capita personal income in 2008 was 7.7 times higher than that of Africans," the institute said in its latest South Africa Survey.
In the same year it was 4.5 times higher than that of Coloureds, and 1.5 times higher than that of Indians.
In 1970 whites were earning 15 times as much as blacks, while in 1917 it was 11 times higher.
The data from the Institute for Futures Research at the University of Stellenbosch shows the ratio of white income to Coloured income is the same as it was in 1917.
The per capita income of Indians and Coloureds was the same in 1917.
However, since then Indian income has grown at a higher rate than that of any other race group.
"‘These trends are confirmed by data we have from other sources in the survey," said Lucy Holborn of the institute's research department.
At constant 2000 prices, between 1993 and 2008 white per capita income rose from R46 486 to R75 297.
That of Indians rose from R19 537 to R51 457. Coloured people went from R12 911 to R16 567, while income for blacks rose from R5 073 to R9 790.
"While average incomes still reflect the disparities between race groups that existed during apartheid and before, we are beginning to see a narrowing of these differences," said Holborn.