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Singapore Statistics: Census

A source for research and instructions for finding and using statistics on Singapore. An annotated bibliography

History of census taking in Singapore

The earliest known census in Singapore was conducted in 1824, followed by 13 censuses to 1860. Many regard these early censuses as unreliable, and these are not as detailed as the modern census.

Singapore’s first systematic census was taken in April 1871 as part of the Straits Settlement Census. Since then, regular censuses were undertaken at ten-year intervals up to 1931. The Second World War delayed the next censuses till 1947 and 1957.

In 1970, Singapore conducted its first post-Independence population census. Four other censuses were subsequently conducted in 1980, 1990, 2000 and the latest in 2010.

Saw, Swee Hock. (2010). The Population of Singapore, 3rd. ed. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Singapore Department of Statistics. (2009). Singapore’s Census of Population 2010. Statistics Singapore Newsletter, September 2009.

Early census and sources

Population census in the library

All census on Singapore are available in NUS libraries. Census data for Singapore from 1871 to 1957 was taken as part of the Straits Settlement census.

General household survey

First undertaken in 1995, the general household survey is a large-scale mid-decade national survey undertaken by the Singapore Department of Statistics. It is the second largest statistical project in Singapore after the Population Census. It provides benchmark data for key demographic, social and labour force statistics between the Census years.