Singapore – The Aging of a Multi-ethnic Society?

Singapore is a South East Asian country; an island which is located to the south of Peninsula of Malaysia. It is a developing country in Asia, and has a high-income economy per capita similar to Germany. Singapore is also experiencing low birth rates in the recent years, an issue which is also faced by Germany. In addition to that, Singapore, just like its neighbouring country, Malaysia, has a multi-racial population demographic.


What is being investigated?

  1. Is the proportion of senior citizens in a developed country like Singapore increasing relative to the younger folks over time?
  2. Is there a growing inequality in the ethnicity proportion over time?


How would these questions be answered?

  1. Observe shift in median age group over time. Observe change in skewness of age group plots over time.
  2. Calculate the Gini coeefficients of ethnicity and plot the values over time. Inspect the demographic inequality in the stacked bar plot.



  1. The median age group is shifting upwards over time, meaning that the proportion of senior citizens is increasing relative to the younger folks. The median age group has gradually shifted from 15-19 years in 1960 to 40-44 years in 2016.

In addition to median age group, the increasing proportion of senior citizens relative to younger folks can be observed through the steady change in the skewness value of age group distribution from being right-skewed (positive skewness value) towards being left-skewed (negative skewness value).


  1. The inequality in terms of number of residents among ethnic groups in Singapore shows a slight overall decreasing trend from year 1960 to 2016, though not very significant. However, it is worth noting that having Gini coefficient values that fluctuate between 0.5 and 0.6 shows that the demographics in Singapore is moderately unequal.


The chart below shows that even with the increasing number of residents over time, the significant majority is always Chinese, followed by Malays, Indians and other ethnic groups.



Should you be interested to delve deeper into the population-related data-sets of Singapore, a great starting point would be the Singaporean government data website.

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