I remember when I was younger, I went to a friend’s place for a Christmas gathering.
It took me a while to get there, having to weave through several lanes filled with glamorous-looking residences that looked like they came straight out of the Crazy Rich Asians set.
Most of us have preconceived notions of individuals who stay in certain areas of Singapore.
Like when someone mentions that they stay close to this MRT station on the Downtown Line, my mind automatically slots them into the high-income bracket.
As someone who has been staying in a regular neighbourhood all my life, I was never curious about the wealth of my fellow neighbours.
Until I stumbled upon this set of data presented in the Census of Population 2020.
This report contains interesting statistics that break down the monthly household income of residents by different districts.
And without further ado, let’s take a look at this distribution and either rejoice and cry over our newfound knowledge.
TL;DR: Here’s Where Your Household Income Stands in Your Area of Residence
Household income is the sum of the gross income of all the members of a household.
We’ve previously seen the median household income, which stands at $7,744 in 2020.
Based on the distribution above:
- Tanglin has the highest proportion of resident households with a monthly household income of $20,000 and above (50.1%)
- This is followed closely by River Valley (46.8%) and Bukit Timah (45.4%)
- Outram has the highest proportion of resident households with a monthly household income below $5,000 (56.9%), largely due to the high number of households with no employed persons (27.2%)
- Bukit Merah and Kallang comes next (47.2%), followed by Ang Mo Kio (46.8%)
Monthly Household Income by Area of Residence
The districts are divided according to the URA Master Plan.
Let’s take a closer look at the different planning areas and their monthly household income distribution.
We note that the monthly household income from work deviates according to the number of members in a household as well.
For reference, the median Singaporean household income is $7,744, while the median household income per household member is $2,463.
Zooming out a little, here’s how the monthly household income varies across the whole of Singapore.
Median Monthly Household Income by Area of Residence
If you’re wondering what’s the ‘average’ monthly income for the people staying in your district…
Here’s where we’ll take a look at the median (i.e. 50% percentage) across all planning areas.
Note: the term ‘average’ is used very loosely here, it usually refers to the mean, but we will take a look at the median due to the skewed distribution across certain income groups.
Using the graphs above, here are the median incomes across different residential areas:
|Area of Residence||Median Monthly Household Income|
|Ang Mo Kio||$5,000 to $5,999|
|Bedok||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Bishan||$9,000 to $9,999|
|Bukit Batok||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Bukit Merah||$5,000 to $5,999|
|Bukit Panjang||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Bukit Timah||$15,000 to $17,499|
|Choa Chu Kang||$8,000 to $8,999|
|Clementi||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Downtown Core||$15,000 to $17,499|
|Geylang||$5,000 to $5,999|
|Hougang||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Jurong East||$6,000 to $6,999|
|Jurong West||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Kallang||$5,000 to $5,999|
|Marine Parade||$8,000 to $8,999|
|Novena||$9,000 to $9,999|
|Outram||$3,000 to $3,999|
|Pasir Ris||$10,000 to $10,999|
|Punggol||$9,000 to $9,999|
|Queenstown||$6,000 to $6,999|
|River Valley||$17,500 to $19,999|
|Sembawang||$8,000 to $8,999|
|Sengkang||$9,000 to $9,999|
|Serangoon||$9,000 to $9,999|
|Tampines||$8,000 to $8,999|
|Tanglin||$20,000 and above|
|Toa Payoh||$5,000 to $5,999|
|Woodlands||$7,000 to $7,999|
|Yishun||$6,000 to $6,999|
|Others||$10,000 to $10,999|
What Does It Mean for You?
Having a household income that falls below the median doesn’t necessarily mean that you are poor.
On the other hand, having a high household income does not necessarily make you rich as well.
It is what you do with that money that determines your wealth.
In one of my favourite books, ‘The Psychology of Money‘ by Morgan Housel, the author mentioned this:
“Wealth is created by suppressing what you could buy today in order to have more stuff or more options in the future. No matter how much you earn, you will never build wealth unless you can put a lid on how much fun you can have with your money right now, today.”
That being said, one of the fastest ways to grow your wealth is to increase your earning power.
One of the methods to do so is to place emphasis on upskilling to stay relevant and employable.
This allows us to gain transferrable skillsets and future-proof our employability as well.
Only with an increased paycheck would we be able to further accelerate our savings rate.