There has been an increasing number of single-person Housing and Development Board (HDB) households in Singapore.
The increase can be attributed to a rule change in 2013 that allowed singles aged 35 and above to buy new two-room flats.
Previously, they could only buy resale flats.
This group includes live-alone elderly people, singles, widows and divorcees
Sharp increase since 2013
Over the years, single-person HDB households have been ballooning.
The pace of increase of one-person households rose sharply after 2013.
In 2003, the figure was 7.1 per cent.
In 2013 the figure was 8.4 per cent.
In 2018, the figure was 11.9 per cent.
The 73 per cent of the growth in solo HDB households from 2003 to 2018 mostly occurred in the years after the rule changed.
This was one of the key findings of the HDB latest sample household survey results released on Feb. 10, 2021.
Growing old alone
In response to queries about the age breakdown of residents living alone in 2008, HDB revealed:
Between 35 and 64: 67.6 per cent
Above 65 and above: 31.7 per cent
HDB also provided the age breakdown of residents living alone in 2018:
Between 35 and 64: 51.2 per cent
Aged 65 and above: 47.5 per cent
This data suggests those living in single-person households persisted doing so over the years, in other words, they grow old alone in their homes.
Fewer HDB flat dwellers
The survey also yielded other findings.
One of which is that the number of HDB flat dwellers has fallen over the years.
Some 3.06 million citizens and permanent residents lived in HDB flats in 2013.
This fell by 20,000 to 3.04 million in 2018.
HDB attributed this to an increase in the number of people moving to private housing.
Elderly cohort increasing
The survey also found that more elderly people are living in HDB flats.
The number of residents who are aged 65 and above living in HDB flats crossed the half-million mark in 2018.
This figure represented 16.5 per cent of HDB dwellers, up from 9.8 per cent in 2008.
The latest survey was the 11th iteration since 1968 and was conducted between January and September 2018 involving about 7,800 households.
In 2018, the number of HDB households here surpassed one million.
Top photo via Unsplash