Here are some highlights from our recent EXPAT LIVING READER SURVEY analysis based on three of our surveys: 2008, 2010 and 2018. Bear in mind that these are statistics from the expat respondents only – a full analysis will be covered in a future article. From expat neighbourhoods to salary packages and shopping habits, as you would expect, the demographics have changed – in some cases, significantly.
- There’s been a decrease in the population of Australian and American expats, and an increase in Indian expats:
- Australian: from 28% in 2010 to 19% currently
- American: from 14% in 2010 to 9% currently
- Indian: from 3% in 2010 to 6% currently
Living in Singapore
- More expat families are enrolling their kids in local schools:
- Up from 8% in 2010 to 22% currently
- More expats are planning to become PRs and make Singapore their main country of residence:
- Increase from 4% in 2010 to 10% currently
- There are more expats working in the IT field now and fewer in the Banking & Finance and Engineering & Construction fields:
- IT: up from 4% in 2010 to 8% currently
- Banking & Finance: down from 25% in 2010 to 19% currently
- Engineering & Construction: down from 13% in 2010 to 5% currently
- There has been a significant drop in expat packages:
- 56% are currently on local packages, up from 32% in 2008
- 18% are currently on expat packages, down from 33% in 2008
- Surprisingly, income has remained unchanged over the last 10 years, despite economic and employment package changes.
- There’s been a big rise in personal rentals and a drop in company rentals:
- Personal rentals: up from 48% in 2008 to 71% currently
- Company rentals: down from 40% in 2008 to 11% currently
- More expats are now staying in HDBs:
- Up from 3% in 2008 to 10% currently
- The majority of expats still live in homes that are 1,000-3,000 square feet in size, though the number living in smaller homes has increased (influenced probably by newer property developments that are smaller):
- 20% now live in homes up to 1000 square feet, up from 13% in 2010
Shopping & lifestyle habits
- The rise in expats shopping online for groceries has been huge:
- Up from 5% in 2008 to 80% currently
- More expats are going to the gym and spending on fitness and personal trainers:
- Increase from 25% in 2010 to 41% currently
- There’s been a major increase in weekly home entertainment/TV and going to the cinema, theatre or live events, reflecting a greater demand for entertainment:
- 87% now watch TV or other home entertainment once or more a week, up from 28% in 2008
- 85% now go to the cinema or a live event once or more a month, up from 38% in 2008
- Online shopping for clothing, beauty products, kids’ products and entertainment has grown by about 30-40% since 2010.
- Expats are eating out even more frequently now:
- 90% eat out at least once a week and 56% order home delivery at least once a month
- There’s been a major drop in the percentage of expats living in Ardmore, Bukit Timah, Holland Road and Tanglin areas:
- Down from 28% in 2008 to 19% now
- Also, fewer are living in the East Coast and Central/Orchard areas.
- The expat population is growing in these areas:
- Serangoon Garden, Hougang, Punggol (doubled since 2008)
- Telok Blangah, HarbourFront (tripled since 2008)
- Pasir Panjang, Hong Leong Garden, Clementi New Town
- Hillview, Dairy Farm, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang
For more helpful tips, head to our living in Singapore section. Read on for more great features:
The expat’s guide on where to live in Singapore
Could Singapore run out of water?
Want to volunteer in Singapore?