SINGAPORE (Feb 16): Not only was Singapore’s Gini coefficient, a measure of income disparity, the lowest in a decade at 0.458 in 2016 – it fell even further to 0.402 after adjusting for government transfers and taxes, according to Singapore’s Department of Statistics.

A reading of 1 means a single person in a country gets everything, while 0 means everyone has the same income.

In a Thursday press release that detailed the city state’s key household income trends in 2016, the Department of Statistics says the significant decline in Gini coefficient reflects the distributive effect of government transfers, where resident households received $4,168 per household member on average from various government schemes.

Specifically, resident households in HDB 1- and 2-room flats received $9,806 per household member on average during the year – more than double the transfers received by resident households staying in other dwelling types.

Among resident employed households, median household income from work grew 2.6% in real terms and by 2.1% in nominal terms to $8,846 in 2016 from $8,666 in 2015.

Resident employed households in all income groups experienced real growth in average household income from work per household member in 2016 – albeit at slower rates compared to 2015 – with real growth in average household income from work per household member ranging 0.2 to 4.3% across the different income groups.

In comparison, real income growth in 2015 was between 5.7 and 10.7%.

After taking household size into account, median monthly household income from work per household member rose in 2016 by 3.4% in nominal terms, or 3.8% in real terms, which was lower than the 5% nominal growth and 5.4% real growth in 2015.

Over the five-year period from 2011-2016, median monthly household income from work of resident employed households increased in real terms by 16.9% cumulatively or 3.2% per annum; median monthly household income per household member increased in real terms by 20% cumulatively or 3.8% per annum; and households in the top 10% experienced slower real income growth at 2.7% per annum compared to other income groups at 3.5 to 4.2% per annum.

To view the full report, click here