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Better-educated S'pore residents look to religion
Thu, Jan 13, 2011
my paper

BY KENNY CHEE

THERE has been an upswing in the proportion of better-educated Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) who are Taoists, Hindus and Muslims last year, compared to that in 2000, based on figures released by the Department of Statistics yesterday.

The data from the Census of Population 2010 also showed that, last year, there were fewer better-educated residents with no religion.

These trends were seen for all residents aged 15 years and above who had post-secondary education, including degree and diploma holders.

Last year, the percentage of residents with university qualifications who are Taoists doubled to 5.3 per cent from 2000's 2.7 per cent.

Hindus made up 9.6 per cent of university-educated residents last year, an increase from 6.9 per cent. Muslims comprised 4.3 per cent of degree-holding residents, a rise from 3.5 per cent.

The proportion of universityeducated residents who had no religion last year dropped to 24.2 per cent from 2000's 28.9 per cent.

The proportion of Christian university graduates who are residents saw a small drop to reach 32.2 per cent from 33.5 per cent.

There was a general increase in the number of Taoists, Christians and Muslims among Singaporeans aged 15 years and above.

Last year, 11.9 per cent of Singaporeans were Taoists, a rise from 8.9 per cent in 2000. Christians formed 17.5 per cent of Singaporeans, up from 14.4 per cent. Muslims comprised 16.3 per cent of citizens, an increase from 15.6 per cent.

The proportion of Hindus remained about the same.

But the proportion of Singaporean Buddhists dropped from 42.8 per cent in 2000 to 33.6 per cent last year.

The percentage of citizens with no religion last year rose to 16.6 per cent from 14.3 per cent in 2000.

The religious affiliations for PRs differ to an extent. The proportion of Buddhist PRs fell from 39.7 per cent in 2000 to 31.4 per cent last year, and that of Christian PRs increased from 16.9 per cent to 23.4 per cent.

But the proportion of Hindu PRs jumped from 9.7 per cent to 14.8 per cent last year. The percentage of PRs with no religion or who were Muslims fell last year.

Young singles a rising trend

The data also shows that singlehood is a rising trend, especially among younger people.

The proportion of single women here aged 25 to 29 rose to 62 per cent last year, from 45.5 per cent in 2000. This represents the largest increase among Singaporeans aged 20 to 49, regardless of gender.

This is followed by single Singaporean men of the same age group at 78.5 per cent, compared to 66.4 per cent. The percentage of childless families is growing among residents too, rising from 14 per cent to 20 per cent last year, for women aged 30 to 39 years who have married.

The data also shows that there is an upward trend for families with only one child, but most still have two kids.


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