Would children prefer to live with or near their parents after their marriage?
I think it a no-brainer as the practical benefits of living close by and the wonders of family life would combine to make such an arrangement the ideal choice. But we cannot be sure. So besides organising many focus group discussions, MND has also commissioned a professional firm to conduct a door-to-door survey with a representative sample of some 2,000 Singaporeans. The sample included both unmarried and married adult children and elderly parents.
The results are heart-warming. Vast majority of young unmarried Singaporeans, 84% of them, plan to live together with their parents (55%), or close by within the same town (29%), after their marriage.
In practice, not all were able to fulfil their wishes. Still, majority of young married Singaporeans, 53% of them, actually live with their parents (35%), or close by within the same town (18%).
Corroborating with these figures, the survey found that 68% of parents with adult married children are either living with their children (47%) or close by within the same town (21%).
The reasons offered for the arrangement are good ones: children are close to their parents and wish to look after them in their old age; parents are close to their children and could also help look after their grandchildren.
The survey confirmed that family ties and interactions are important to Singaporeans. Regardless where they stay,
a. 96% of unmarried children plan to see their parents at least once a week after marriage;
b. 72% of married children currently do so; and
c. 83% of elderly parents see their married children at least once a week.
The door-to-door survey results show that the state of family bonding in Singapore is healthy and strong. They affirm that Singaporean families value mutual care and support and want to live near to one another.
They also show that there is room for us to do more to help extended families live nearer. MND will study the survey findings in greater detail, and together with the feedback we have received from our housing conversations, to see how best we can help fulfil Singaporeans’ aspirations to live near their extended families for better mutual care and support.
If you are interested, more details on the survey findings can be accessed here.
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