Income and expenditure of the bottom 10% of households

The average monthly income of households in the first income decile was $1,043, while their average monthly expenditure was $1,844.

Parliamentary Question on 3 November 2014

BREAKDOWN OF DATA IN HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE SURVEY

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the Household Expenditure Survey data can be broken down to quantify (i) the income and expenditure profile for the bottom 10% of households by income and (ii) the respective types of home ownership among the bottom 20% of households who spend more than what they earn.

Mr Lim Hng Kiang: Based on the results of the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) 2012/13, the average monthly income of households in the first income decile was $1,043, while their average monthly expenditure was $1,844. About 55% of their income was derived from work, while the remaining 45% was from non-work income sources such as investment income and regular transfers from the Government. The stronger reliance on non-work income by these households could be attributed to the fact that around one-third of the households in this group were retiree households. Detailed data on the expenditure patterns of households in the first income decile can be found in the HES 2012/13 report on the Department of Statistics’ website.

Information on home ownership by dwelling types and income quintiles has also been published in the HES 2012/13 report. Specifically, more than eight out of ten households in the bottom income quintile owned homes. Among those who lived in HDB flats in this group, 81% owned the flats that they occupied. The ownership rate for those residing in condominiums and other apartments, and in landed properties was higher at 88% and 95% respectively. However, specific data on the home ownership of households who spent more than they earned is not available from the HES.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.