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Society, Monthly Spotlight

Maintaining Social Mobility in Singapore

PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam have called out that one of Singapore’s key challenges moving forward is its citizens’ ability to move upwards.

Singaporeans are divided when it comes to the current state of social mobility in the country. Whilst more than half (52%) think that it has remained the same as in the past. One in four (25%) say that it has worsened, while 23% believe that the situation has improved.

Opinions are similarly split when it comes to comparing Singapore with the rest of the Southeast Asia region. About two in five (39%) feel that upward mobility is the same in Singapore as it is across the region, 30% say it is harder. 31% think Singaporeans have it easier.

Singaporeans also have different views when it comes to evaluating programmes “most important’ in helping promote mobility. Chinese Singaporeans favour a fiscal-first approach, rating ‘Having a strong and vibrant economy’ (45%) and ‘Providing economic support for less privileged families’ (41%) highest. Non-Chinese Singaporeans, however, are more likely to cite education, considering ‘Ensuring places in good schools for children from less privileged backgrounds’ (53%) as ‘Very Important’.