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Aging population of Singapore - statistics & facts

Singapore is currently facing an increasingly aging population, caused by increased life expectancy coupled with decreasing birth rates. In 2018, it had one of the highest life expectancies in the world. As of 2017, however, Singapore had the lowest fertility rate in the world, at only 0.83 children per woman. By 2035, it was estimated that around 32 percent of Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above, while the median age was also expected to rise from 39.7 in 2015 to 53.4 in 2050. This demographic shift places pressure on Singaporean society as a shrinking workforce struggles to support an ageing population.

An ageing population comes with a unique set of challenges, from reduced economic growth to increased healthcare and social services costs. As such, improving the lives of the elderly has also become a top priority for the Singapore government, as employment alone will not be enough to sustain Singaporeans in their twilight years. In 2015, the Singapore government introduced The Pioneer Generation Package to help citizens born before the year 1950 cope with health care and living expenses. In 2019, the Merdeka Generation Package was launched to help baby boomers born during the 1950s.

There is also a growing demand for day-care and dementia care facilities for senior citizens. As of 2018, there were 78 senior activity centers, almost double the amount in 2011. On the corporate level, several companies such as DBS/POSB, have introduced staff training and courses to better communicate with seniors.

Growing old in Singapore translates to higher costs of living. In 2019, a report by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy found that a Singaporean senior citizen aged 65 years and above and living alone required about S$1,379 a month to meet basic standards of living. For those between 55 and 64 years, the figure was S$1,721. A survey of Singaporeans found that 55 percent felt that they were not prepared for old age in terms of health and well-being, whereas the same share of respondents also felt that were not financially prepared for old age. This may have contributed to a marked increase in seniors in the Singapore workforce today.

In 2017, the re-employment age was raised from 65 to 67 years. According to Ministry of Manpower figures, the number of employed residents aged 65 and older as of 2018 was 145,000 whereas a decade ago, it was at approximately 50,000. To accommodate the growing numbers, silver industries such as senior tourism, devices and tools are areas of expansion. The Special Employment Credit (SEC) was introduced in 2011 to support employers and to raise the employability of older Singaporeans.

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Aging population of Singapore

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Aging population of Singapore

Economic impact

Preparedness for old age


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