More Singapore residents living in condos; rise in households with fewer members

The proportion of resident households living in condominiums and other apartments increased from 11.5 to 16 per cent.
The proportion of resident households living in condominiums and other apartments increased from 11.5 to 16 per cent.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More Singapore residents are living in condominiums and apartments today compared with a decade ago, while household sizes are trending towards having three or fewer members, according to a population census released on Friday (June 18).

In the second of two publications by the Department of Statistics (DOS) - with the first issued on Wednesday - it was revealed that there were 1.37 million resident households in 2020, up from 1.15 million in 2010 when the census was last conducted.

The proportion of resident households living in condominiums and other apartments increased from 11.5 to 16 per cent.

But most - about four in five, or 78.7 per cent - remained in Housing Board flats, down from about 82.4 per cent.

Of these, nearly one-third lived in four-room flats, keeping it as the most common type of home over the last decade.

These trends were largely mirrored across the ethnic groups. However, for Malays, a larger majority of 96.2 per cent resided in HDB flats.

In the biggest change for Malays, there was a jump in the share of resident households in one- and two-room flats, from 8.7 per cent to 16 per cent.

The proportion of Malay resident households in condominiums was 3 per cent, compared with 17.3 per cent for the Chinese and 16.2 per cent for Indians.

While the total share of all resident households in landed properties stayed around 5 per cent over the last 10 years, the corresponding figures were 0.7 for Malays, 3.9 for Indians and 5.6 for Chinese in 2020.

The proportion of owner-occupied households overall remained high, at close to nine in 10, while the share of rented households for Malays rose over four percentage points to 14 per cent.

Shrinking households

Over the decade, the average household size dropped from 3.5 persons to 3.2 persons.

This was reflected in the rising proportion of one-person households, from 12.2 to 16 per cent; along with an increase in two-person households from 18.8 to 22.6 per cent.

This shift was most prominent for Malay households, with the share of those with three or fewer members growing from 35.7 per cent to 49.9 per cent.

Still, Malay households continued to be larger on average in 2020, with 3.7 persons, compared with the Chinese (3.1) and Indians (3.4).

The share of Chinese one-person households in 2020 also stood out at 17.3 per cent, versus 9.8 for Malays and 12.7 for Indians.

When it came to households with a family nucleus, the proportion of those with at least one dropped from 82.9 per cent in 2010 to 78 per cent in 2020.

This was mainly due to a dip over the same period in the share of couple-based households with children, from 56 per cent in 2010 to 47.7 per cent.

Across the ethnic groups, Indian and Malay households in 2020 had a higher proportion of couple-based households with children (55.1 and 54.0 per cent respectively), than the Chinese (45.8 per cent).

This figure for the Malays, however, did register a sharp drop from 65.8 per cent in 2010.

The share of Chinese households with no family nucleus was 23.6 per cent in 2020, compared to 13.6 for Malays and 17.9 for Indians.

DOS defines these as households formed by a person living alone, or living with others but not as a family nucleus.

Singapore's ageing population also saw the proportion of resident households with at least one member aged 65 and above rise from 24.1 per cent in 2010 to 34.5 per cent in 2020.

Households with all members at least 65 years old also grew in share, from 4.6 per cent to 9.3 per cent in 2020.