Singaporeans Are Ignorant?

It’s true. Singapore was ranked the 8th-most ignorant country in a survey.

This little red dot might be home to the world’s top math and science students in the world, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, but in terms of actual knowledge, we’re an ignorant bunch.



The 2016 Index of Ignorance was compiled by the second-largest market research organisation in the United Kingdom, known as Ipsos MORI. Populations from 40 countries – between 500 and 1,000 people aged 16 to 64 in each country – were involved in the survey, which was conducted from Sept 2016 to Nov 2016.

In the good name of educating ourselves further, we’ve gathered some facts on our population and finances from The Ministry of Manpower and Statistics Singapore (SingStat).

Maybe after this crash course, we could earn ourselves a spot on the Top 10 Least Ignorant Countries In The World list instead.

Our Assets
A recent programme on Channel NewsAsia focused on Singapore’s expanding wealth inequality – we’ve broken it down to five parts to help you understand the situation a little better.

1. Singapore’s Top 20%
Assets (property, car, savings) – Debts (mortgage, loans) = Wealth (including income)

Singapore’s wealthiest 20% own 73% of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 20% own 1% of the overall wealth.

But the wealthiest 20% aren’t homogeneously wealthy – since within this bunch are the top 1%, who are multibillionaires and fly on private jets.

This is compared with people who earn a decent living wage, but are taking out mortgages for their homes.

2. Home Ownership

According to SingStat, more people are owning condos and other apartments. Perhaps it’s for the swimming pools?



3. Wealth Inequality
The country’s wealth inequality is rising. As of 2015, the ratio was 1: 2.72.

“It is very likely… that the top 1% (of households’) share increased from 20% to 30%. So if you slice it up by that, you’ll probably see inequality increasing,” Dr Ong Ee Cheng, a lecturer at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Economics, told Channel NewsAsia.

But on a brighter note..

4. Social Mobility
Social mobility in Singapore is high: 14% from the poorest 10% moved into top 20% income earners. It is one of the highest rates in the world.



We, The People
We might consider ourselves a part of the local community, but how much do we know about Singapore’s population as a whole?

5. Singapore’s Population

Year 2015 2016
Singapore citizens 3,375,000 3,408,900
Singapore permanent residents 527,700 524,600
Total Population
(residents and nonresidents)
5,535,000 5,607,300


6. Age Distribution

Year 2015 2016
Median Age 39.6 40
Below 20 years 845,300 835,900
20 – 64 years 2,597,700 2,610,100
65 years & above 459,700 487,600


7. Total Fertility Rate (per female)




8. Are Singaporeans Happy?

Singaporeans think that people living in the country are unhappier than we say we are.

Those surveyed think only 47% of Singaporeans think we’re happy, when the actual answer is 93%.



Turns out, we’re a lot happier than think we are.

Keep Informed

Unlike those working at The Ministry of Manpower, you might not deal with statistics on a regular basis; but you can still keep abreast with them. These facts can help you break the ice in an awkward party, or even impress your new tinder date.

Featured image from Chic Collection