In 2022, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Singapore as the world’s most expensive city alongside Hong Kong and Paris. The high cost of living in Singapore is in large part due to the extremely high cost of owning a car, as well as high property and food prices. With the tenth highest average wealth per adult in the world, and relatively low financial inequality, it seems that the residents of Singapore are able to afford life in the city with the third most expensive beer prices in the world.
Declining wealth in old age
The reality, however, is far less glamorous. While the median wealth per adult increased in 2019 from 2018, it was still the second-lowest value in the past five years. Many Singaporeans are feeling the pinch, especially the most vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly, who make up the majority of the workforce in jobs such as cleaning. Worryingly, many Singaporeans are also not financially prepared for retirement. This could lead to increasing inequality in the future, with many people unable to afford the lifestyle that they are accustomed to.