Singapore's Household Income Grew in 2017

Income from work of less well-off families in Singapore grew last year - but at a slower pace than those of better-off households.

A Department of Statistics report released this week (8 Feb) showed that the bottom half of Singapore households saw growth in real income - which takes inflation into account - rising between 2.1 per cent and 3.6 per cent for each household member.

For the next 40 per cent, the increase ranged between 3.7 per cent and 4.5 per cent.

The less well-off recorded slower income growth last year, but between 2012 and last year, their real income per household member went up between 4.2 per cent and 4.6 per cent a year, faster than the rise of between 2.2 per cent and 4.2 per cent among the better-off.

The Gini coefficient also rose slightly to 0.459 from 0.458 in 2016, which was the lowest level in a decade. It, however, remained the same after taking into account government transfers and taxes. The Gini coefficient measures income inequality from zero to one, with zero being most equal.

As for overall median household income - which is the midpoint in a range - the latest report showed it rose by 2 per cent in nominal terms, from $8,846 in 2016 to $9,023 a month last year. After accounting for inflation, the rise was 1.5 per cent.

Source: “Income growth slows for less well-off in Singapore” (The Straits Times, 9 February 2018)

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