Fewer Singaporeans staying with parents or in-laws

Fewer Singaporeans staying with parents or in-laws

According to the 2009 State of the Family Singapore Report, the average household size in Singapore has declined from 4.7 in 1980 to 3.5 in 2008.

Less and less Singaporeans are staying with their parents or their in-laws. According to the 2009 State of the Family Singapore Report, the average household size in Singapore has declined from 4.7 in 1980 to 3.5 in 2008.

Large households of over six people account for around 10 per cent of all households, and another 10 percent of households are occupied by just one person.

“I am not surprised by these statistics; when countries develop you usually see smaller households. Gone are the days of parents giving birth to three or more kids,” says Miss Trisha Suresh, 25, a graduate student.

Suresh adds that while she does not see it as an issue, the more pertinent thing to question is if this indicates that Singaporeans are becoming less filial, and if such is the case, it’s important that policy makers implement measures to take care of the aged.

The silver lining is despite not living physically together, the report did indicate that Singaporeans continue to feel they belong to close-knit families.

In fact the 2006 Survey on the Social Attitudes of Singaporeans (SAS) showed that a majority, 96 per cent, viewed their family as close-knit and were able to relate and turn to family members for help, both financially and emotionally.

Such is the case in the Tan household. Mrs Susana Tan and her husband, Aaron, live by themselves in a three room flat in Hougang.

“With the $30 thousand first time home owner’s grant, it is quite affordable to buy a flat on your own. We decided that instead of waiting till we have kids to move out from our in-laws, it made sense to buy immediately, as property prices just keep escalating,” shares Tan. Even though they don’t live near either side of the family, they make it a point to meet up for family dinners every forth-night. The Tans also call their parents and siblings at least four times a week.

What do you all think? Should Singaporeans be staying with their parents/in-laws? Are these statistics worrying? Or is it in fact necessary to maintain family harmony?

Also read: Dealing with the in-laws

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Written by

Roshni Mahtani

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