MORE Singaporeans who are single, widowed or divorced are living alone.
The proportion of one-person resident households has doubled from 4.6% of all households in 1992 to 9.5% in 2012.
The Population Trends 2013 report of the Department of Statistics showed there were 109,500 such households in 2012 – more than triple the 32,400 in 1992.
Professor Jean Yeung, a sociologist at the National University of Singapore (NUS), described the increase as very significant and said: “The trend is just starting will increase rapidly in the next two to three decades.”
In fact, one-person households are the fastest-growing household type in Asia, especially East Asia, said Prof Yeung, who organised the NUS Asia Research Institute’s conference on the subject last December.
It was the first conference to examine the trend in Asia, with countries like South Korea and Taiwan also seeing a surge in the number of people living alone.
For example, the proportion of one-person households shot up from 9% in 1990 to 23.9% in 2010 in South Korea and from 13.4% in 1990 to 22% in 2010 in Taiwan.
Singapore’s figures are lower given the relatively lower percentage of singles and the elderly, coupled with high housing costs, Prof Yeung said.
But the rising trend also reflects changing values and the desire for greater personal space and privacy, sociologists said. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network