Spoiler-free TV news for South African viewers
  What's Your LSM?
Ever wondered what LSMs are?

You frequently hear about them from marketers, who breathlessly and importantly proclaim - wearing their best DPSL (Debora Patta Stern Look) - which LSM market they target with their various products.

We thought you may be interested to know a) what LSMs are, and b) what your own LSM is, particularly since the television broadcasters all categorise you by your LSM in order to sell advertising slots to marketers who want your money.

LSM stands for Living Standards Measure.

Developed by the South African Advertising and Research Foundation (SAARF), LSM has become the most widely used segmentation tool in South Africa.

It is a means of segmenting the South African market that cuts across race, gender, age or any other variable used to categorise people. Instead, it groups people according to their living standards.

LSMs are calculated based on ownership of household assets and a few other requirements. There are 29 variables:

Hot running water
Microwave oven
Flush toilet in house or on plot
Vacuum cleaner/floor polisher
Washing machine
Computer at home
Electric stove
TV set(s)
Tumble dryer
Telkom telephone
Hi-fi or music center
Built-in kitchen sink
Home security service
Deep freeze
Water in home or on stand
M-Net and/or DStv
Metropolitan dweller
Sewing machine
DVD player
House/cluster/town house
1 or more motor vehicles
No domestic worker
No cellphone in household
Only 1 cellphone in household
None or only one radio
Living in a non-urban area outside Gauteng or the Western Cape

The LSMs range from LSM 1 (typically rural folks who don't have access to hot running water, much less DStv) to LSM 10 (typically someone who's well employed with a house and car).

Some key LSM points (as of September 2005):

- Just under two thirds of South Africa's adult population are in LSM 1-5. A little more than 1 in 10 are in LSM 9-10.

- Over half of all LSM 1-5 live in Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern Cape or Limpopo. For other LSM groups, over half live in Gauteng or the Western Cape.

- LSM 9-10 are still predominantly white (74%), and LSM 1-5 are almost exclusively black (95%).

- LSM 9-10 are mainly in professional and technical, clerical and sales, administrative and managerial professions. For LSM 1-5, the spread is more uniform with most in service, production and mining, and clerical and sales.

- One half of LSM 1-5 speak Zulu or Xhosa at home. For LSM 6-8, Afrikaans is the most prevalent (28%), and for LSM 9-10, 48% speak English at home, followed by Afrikaans at 43%.

We found a handy online calculator (see below) which lets you discover which LSM you are. Filling it out will give you a good idea of how the LSMs work.

As for what you can do with the information - not much. But if marketers aren't going to identify you by your name, you might as well know what LSM they call you behind your back.

LSM Calculator

Replies: 44
You must be a TVSA member to post a reply
Reply from: lady bee Thursday, February 28, 2008 01:51 AM
im a 10....not a big deal
wealth doesnt make a person it starts from a positive selfworth i think...
i found this website by mistake...lol
i see the replies are old too...whats up wiyh that..
admin better do something about it
Reply from: xafricanprincessx Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:06 AM
i'm 13 mfffffffmm not enough
Reply from: LM Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:19 AM
 Am 8, yah! It seems thetumble dryer, dishwasher and mnet/dstv carry more weight, LOL.
Reply from: Teej Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:20 AM
Im 8.....not too bad (I think) coz vele ngiyaku LSM 20 la engilibangise khona in 2 years time.LOL
Reply from: Sam2say Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:21 AM
I'm 6, what does it mean betunanas??
Reply from: Tynt! Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:24 AM
Reply from: Tynt! Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:29 AM

Oops: MEANT 9

Reply from: Mphoyame Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:32 AM
I'm a 5, uyabona I stay outside of Gauteng Poorest of the poor.    Donation will greatly appreciated
Reply from: suzzy82 Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:38 AM

i'm 15 its because i'm lazy

Reply from: LM Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:46 AM
Haibo, you guys....the highest score is 10. where do you get anything higher than that????
Reply from: xafricanprincessx Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:53 AM

lol !!!lol!!!i thought u can count as many as u have

Reply from: Teej Thursday, February 28, 2008 02:57 AM

You guys are very funny yazi......click on the link (LSM Calculator towards the end of the article)  and from ther click on whatever you own and your LSM will be calculated for you.

Reply from: xafricanprincessx Thursday, February 28, 2008 03:05 AM
i'm out of here 
enjoy the rest of the day guys
Reply from: Zizikazi Thursday, February 28, 2008 03:16 AM
I'm 9 ......poor me

Belz: Dont redo it coz then ull lie and say uve got DSTV when u KNOW ur stuck with Walker,Texas Ranger on etv :)  Awusandihlekisi ga ga ga ga ga
Reply from: Cande Friday, June 19, 2009 16:28 PM
goosh, 2 yrs later i am still here..nc nc nc
Reply from: Katlegom Friday, June 19, 2009 16:45 PM

what if you have an car and a house but you dont have money most of the time, are you still 10?

Reply from: LM Saturday, June 20, 2009 02:23 AM
1-point up! am a 9 now thanx to multichoice, LOL! Go tla loka Cande o ska wara
Reply from: Strolicious Saturday, June 20, 2009 07:40 AM
LOL @ Katlegom....
Reply from: jamngad Thursday, April 21, 2011 19:11 PM
whoha!!! is its a 10. Eish but my o/d is killing me!!!. Crdit card!! hmmmmmm
Reply from: daveonearth Monday, June 27, 2011 12:04 PM
In a monetary system, democracy is an illusion perpetuated to give the populace a feeling of participation in a so-called democratic process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w

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