SINGAPORE: More Singaporeans are living in condominiums and more are relying on public transport instead of cars to commute to work, according to the latest national household survey by the Department of Statistics (Singstat) released on Wednesday (Mar 9).
The proportion of resident households living in condominiums and other apartments rose to 13.9 per cent last year, up from 11.5 per cent in 2010, the survey found.
Four-room flats remained the most common house type, with 32 per cent of households living in them. The next most common was five-room and executive flats, with 24.1 per cent, followed by three-room flats with 18.2 per cent.
The survey also found that most households owned the houses they lived in. Home ownership among resident households rose to 90.8 per cent in 2015, up from 87.2 per cent in 2010.
More than half of Singapore’s resident working population commuted to work by public bus or the MRT in 2015, Singstat said. In particular, the proportion commuting to work by MRT with a transfer to/from public bus increased to 24.8 per cent last year from 17.6 per cent in 2010.
Conversely, those who used cars as the only mode of transport to work decreased to 21.9 per cent from 24.8 per cent over the same five-year period.
The shift towards the use of MRT with a transfer to/from public bus was also observed among resident students attending higher education institutions, Singstat said.
Reflecting the close proximity of the schools to their homes, 44.7 per cent of pre-primary and primary school students did not need to take any transport to school in 2015, although this was lower than the 46.2 per cent in 2010.
MORE SINGLES, MORE ELDERLY
The proportion of singles among residents aged 25 to 29 rose to 80.2 per cent for males last year, up from 74.6 per cent in 2010, while the proportion for females rose to 63 per cent from 54 per cent.
The proportion of singles among those aged 30 and above remained stable, Singstat said.
The survey also found that the majority of women aged between 40 and 49 and who are married or had been had at least two children. Two-thirds of women in this group had two or more children, although the proportion who were childless or had one child increased slightly. Overall, the average number of children born to women in this group declined to 1.85 in 2015 from 2.02 in 2010.
With an ageing population, the proportion of resident households with at least one resident aged 65 and over increased to 29.1 per cent last year from 24.1 per cent in 2010. Among residents aged 65 and over in resident households, 61.3 per cent lived with their children in 2015, down from 66.7 per cent in 2010.
One sociologist, Dr Paulin Straughan, said this means that there must be sufficient infrastructure to support ageing in place. She added that there is a need to recreate a family model within the community.
Dr Straughan said: "When it comes to public policy, we have to be prepared for the day when it will be the norm for older Singaporeans to live alone in their own homes. So how do you then create that social support for them so that loneliness will not step in?
"We can encourage (people) to step out of their homes and get to know their neighbours, take a proactive step to involve each other in their everyday life. When it comes to supporting ageing in place, we need to level up on infrastructure. So that older adults, as they move from the third phase to the fourth stage, when disabilities start to set in, they can continue to stay safely in their own home."
She said the elderly need to be able to choose the way they live, without having to turn to institutional care.
The religious profile of Singaporeans remained diverse, the survey found. Among residents aged 15 and over in 2015, 43.2 per cent identified themselves as Buddhists or Taoists, 18.8 per cent as Christians, 14 per cent as Muslims and 5 per cent as Hindus. Another 18.5 per cent of residents had no religious affiliation in 2015, an increase from the 17 per cent in 2010.
MORE EDUCATED, MORE SPEAKING ENGLISH
Singaporeans are also more educated now than five years ago. Among the resident non-student population aged 25 and over, 52 per cent possessed post-secondary qualifications in 2015, up from 46.5 per cent in 2010.
The literacy rate among the resident population was high, at close to 97 per cent in 2015. The proportion of residents literate in two or more languages increased. Among literate residents aged 15 and over, 73.2 per cent were able to read in two or more languages in 2015, an increase from the 70.5 per cent in 2010.
English was the most frequently spoken language at home for 36.9 per cent of residents in 2015, up from 32.3 per cent in 2010, according to the survey.
As of end-June 2015, Singapore’s resident population was 3.90 million, Singstat said. A total of 33,000 households were selected for the survey, with response from 27,804 households.