Proportion of nuclear families has fallen over the years: Tan Chuan-Jin

SINGAPORE - The proportion of nuclear families here has dipped over the years. It fell to 49 per cent last year, down from 56 per cent in 2000.

Nuclear families generally refer to two-generation households of a couple living with parents or children. In total, the number of resident households has increased from 915,100 in 2000 to 1.2 million last year.

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In tandem, the proportion of one-person households has increased, from 8 per cent in 2000 to 11 per cent last year. Those headed by married couples who are childless or not living with their children also made up 14 per cent of all resident households last year, a three percentage point increase from 2000. The proportion of three-generation households has remained stable in the past 15 years, at about 10 per cent.

These figures were revealed by Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin on Friday, at the annual Social Service Partners Conference. At this year's conference, about 450 people - including welfare group representatives, academics and policymakers - discussed emerging family trends and ways to strengthen support for families.

Said Mr Tan: "Families form the foundation of a strong nation. Having a better understanding of emerging trends affecting families, such as changing family structures and greater family pressures... will help us as a Government and community to better support families."

Ms Claire Nazar, a member of the Families for Life Council which promotes resilient families, said gathering the views of different social service partners at the conference is "useful in enabling everyone to have a panoramic view of each sector's role in strengthening families".

"(This enables us) to see how we can each do more and work together to be ready for the challenges ahead," she said.