5 things you won’t believe about Singaporeans revealed in the General Household survey

Mar 11, 2016 05.13PM |

by Clare Thng

OVER the last two days, news reports have laid out predictable trends such as falling fertility rates and climbing elderly numbers in line with the 2015 General Household survey results. But what about the lesser known, almost unbelievable, data? After trawling through pages of statistics and graphs, here are five facts we came across which you may not have known:

1. Chinese are the least bilingual.  

Over a span of five years, the proportion of the resident population literate in two or more languages has increased by almost 3 per cent. In 2015, nearly nine out of ten of literate Malays were able to read in two or more languages. This was followed by 82.9 per cent of Indians who could do so as well. On the other hand, it was the Chinese who suffered the lowest proportion of residents for multi-language literacy at only 70.3 per cent.

While a majority of the Chinese and Malay were literate in English and their mother tongue only, language literacy was more diverse among the Indians. In addition to the 45.7 per cent who could read English and Tamil, 14 per cent of Indians were literate in English and Malay as well.

2. In almost half of all marriages, husbands are as smart as their wives. 

In 2015, 46.1 per cent of married couples comprised husbands with the same educational qualifications as their wives. The other 54 per cent being married couples where either the wives had lower qualifications than husbands or vice versa. Among married males with university qualifications, 67.7 per cent of them had a spouse who was also a university graduate.

With more females joining the workforce, dual-career couples have been on the rise as well from 47.1 per cent to 53.8 per cent. Within these five years, the proportion of marriages where only the husband worked had fallen from 32.6 per cent to 27.7 per cent.

3. Almost half of primary school students walk to school.

If they chose to anyway…

In light of the close proximity of schools to their homes, 44.7 per cent of pre-primary and primary school students did not require transport to school in 2015. This was a slight fall from 46.2 per cent in 2010.

4. Indians have the most diverse religious affiliations. 

Aside from language literacy, the religious affiliations of Indians were most diverse compared to the other racial groups. In 2015, Hinduism with 59.9 per cent was the predominant religion of Indians. This was followed by Islam with 21.3 per cent and Christianity with 12.1 per cent. Other religions such as Sikhism made up about 5.4 per cent.

5. Among the ethnic races, the number of persons in Malay households saw the largest fall. 

The average household size for Malay households fell from 4.2 persons in 2010 to 3.9 persons in 2015. Over the same 5 year period, Chinese households experienced a marginal decline from 3.4 persons to 3.3 persons while that of Indian households remained unchanged at 3.6 persons. This makes the shift towards smaller households the most notable in Malays out of the ethnic groups. In spite of this dip in numbers, the Malays continue to have a larger household size on average than Indian and Chinese households.


Featured image by Natassya Diana.

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