SINGAPORE: The country’s median household income from work grew in nominal and real terms last year, according to data from the Singapore Department of Statistics (Singstat) on Wednesday (Jan 7).

The report on “Key Household Income Trends, 2023,” which the public can access here, shows that the median monthly household income rose to S$10,869 in 2023. In 2022, it had been S$10,099.

While this shows an increase of 7.6 per cent, when adjusted for inflation, the rate of increase is 2.8 per cent (real terms).

“From 2018 to 2023, median monthly household income from work of resident employed households increased 3.1 per cent cumulatively or 0.6 per cent per annum in real terms,” Singstat said.

Additionally, when household size is taken into account, the median monthly income per household member grew from S$3,287 to S$3,500 from 2022 to 2023, which means a real increase of 1.7 per cent.

The median monthly household income per household member grew by 10.5 per cent cumulatively from 2018 to 2023, or 2.0 per cent yearly in real terms.

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SingStat noted that for households in most deciles, the average income per household member increased. Households that earned the least (1.7 per cent decrease) and the most (1.9 per cent decrease) are the exceptions to this.

Government Transfers in 2023

In 2023, resident households, including households with no employed person, received $6,371 per household member on average from Government schemes, an increase from the $5,859 received in 2022.

SingStat noted that this is due to more support given to cope with higher inflation and help with the GST hike.

Households that received the highest government transfers were those living in one-to-two-room HDB flats, receiving an average of $13,623 per household member. This is nearly double what those who live in three-room flats received.

Drop in Gini Coefficient

The report also showed that for Singapore last year, there was a decrease in the Gini coefficient, a metric used to measure income inequality. Because a score of 1 means perfect inequality, the lower the score, the better.

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In 2022, Singapore’s score was 0.437 in 2022. For 2023, it had fallen to 0.433 before government transfers and taxes. With government transfers and taxes taken into account, the Gini coefficient was 0.371 for 2023.

Preliminary labour force data published by MOM in late November had said that Singaporean and Permanent Resident workers at the 20th-percentile salary level saw their real incomes fall by 3 per cent year-on-year, while those drawing the median wage saw a 2.3 per cent decrease year-on-year. /TISG

Read also: MOM: Real median income fell by 2.2% in 2023