Household income inequality in Singapore last year was at its lowest in almost two decades as median household income grew to S$9,425, according to figures released by the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat).
SingStat’s annual Key Household Income Trends report for 2019 showed the Gini coefficient, based on household income from work per household member, stood at 0.452 last year, compared to 0.458 in 2018.
The Gini coefficient measures income inequality on a scale of zero to one, with zero representing total income equality and one representing total inequality.
After adjusting for government transfers - which includes Workfare and GST credits - the coefficient would fall even further to 0.398, SingStat noted.
Resident households (including households with no working person) received $4,682 per household member on average from various Government schemes in 2019, it reported.
“Resident households in HDB 1- & 2-room flats received $10,548 per household member on average, which was more than double the transfers received by resident households staying in other dwelling types,” SingStat said in a statement.
Among resident employed households, median monthly household income from work grew by 1.4 percent in nominal terms, from $9,293 in 2018 to $9,425 in 2019, or 1.0 percent in real terms. Over the last five years, from 2014 to 2019, median monthly household income from work of resident employed households increased by 13 percent cumulatively or 2.5 percent per annum in real terms.
Household income from work refers to the sum of income from employment and business - including employer Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions - received by all working members of the household.
Taking into account household size, median monthly household income per member rose 4.3 percent in real terms, from S$2,792 in 2018 to S$2,925 last year.
Between 2014 and 2019, the median monthly income per household member grew by 22.2 percent cumulatively, a 4.1 percent per annum growth in real terms.
Also, families across all income groups saw real growth in average household income from each member last year, in line with trends over the last five years.