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What’s the Median Salary in Singapore by Age, Gender, Education, and Race 2024: An In-Depth Analysis

As I explore the socioeconomic landscape of Singapore, an intriguing aspect is the median salary across various demographics, including age, gender, education level, and race. This information is not just a reflection of the labour market, but also of societal trends and the effectiveness of policies geared towards education and equal opportunity. Understanding the median salary within these parameters is critical for policymakers, businesses, and individuals aiming to comprehend the dynamics of income distribution in a modern and diverse economy like that of Singapore.

The median salary, by definition, is the value separating the higher half of a data sample from the lower half, and in terms of income, it represents a pivotal measure that often provides a more accurate representation of what a typical individual earns than the average salary, which can be skewed by extreme values. In the context of Singapore, it’s revealing to observe how this median income evolves as individuals progress through different life stages, how it varies between genders, and what implications arise from the intersections of educational attainment and ethnic backgrounds.

Salary trends in Singapore are heavily influenced by educational qualifications, with stark differences in earnings between those with varying levels of education. For instance, individuals with tertiary education generally command higher median salaries compared to those with secondary education or below. Gender pay disparity is also a crucial component of the salary narrative, where traditionally, men have earned more than women, although the gap has been observed to narrow in recent years. Furthermore, when examining earnings across different ethnic groups in Singapore’s multi-ethnic society, it showcases the impact of both cultural factors and the success of integration policies on economic outcomes. By analysing these facets, we gain insights into the broader implications for economic inclusion and social cohesion in Singapore.

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Overview of Median Salary in Singapore

In Singapore, the median salary varies by age, gender, education, and race. I have found that as individuals progress in their career, median earnings typically increase. For instance, employees in their late 20s might see their incomes rise as they gain experience. By the time they reach their 40s or 50s, they are often at the peak of their earning potential.

Gender plays a role in median salary; men have historically earned more than women, but the gap is narrowing with increasing gender equality measures. When looking at education, generally, higher levels of education correspond to higher median salaries. This trend underscores the importance of educational qualifications in the Singapore job market.

Race can influence median earnings due to a complex interplay of socio-economic factors. Chinese Singaporeans have been reported to generally earn more compared to other ethnic groups.

Here’s a brief formatted overview:

  • Age: Median salary increases with age and experience.
  • Gender: Men often earn more, but the gap is decreasing.
  • Education: Higher educational qualifications tend to lead to higher median salaries.
  • Race: Chinese Singaporeans often have higher median earnings.

These figures are indicative and are subject to change with evolving economic conditions and policy reforms. Importantly, the Singapore government has set in place initiatives to promote fair employment practices and equal opportunities for all. This is to help ensure a more equitable salary landscape across different demographics.

Median Salary by Age Group

In analysing the median salary in Singapore by age group, it’s evident that income tends to increase with age and experience. The variation in earnings across different stages of a career reflects the accumulation of skills, knowledge, and seniority.

Youth (Below 25 Years)

The median salary for individuals in Singapore below 25 years is typically lower due to entry-level positions and the onset of their career. This demographic encompasses fresh graduates and those in internships or trainee positions.

Early Career (25-34 Years)

In their early career phase, Singaporean workers experience a noticeable increase in median salary as they begin to establish themselves in their chosen fields. Gaining necessary experience and potentially advancing to mid-level positions contribute to higher earnings.

Mid-Career (35-44 Years)

My research indicates that individuals in the mid-career bracket, aged between 35 to 44 years, usually see a more significant progression in salary. At this stage, many have ascended to managerial roles or possess specialised skills warranting higher compensation.

Experienced (45-54 Years)

The experienced age group of 45 to 54 years benefits from the peak of their earning potential. Many in this category hold senior management positions or have extensive expertise, cementing their higher median salaries.

Pre-Retirement (55-64 Years)

As Singaporeans approach retirement, typically from 55 to 64 years old, their median salaries often plateau. This reflects a mix of continued high-level employment for some, while others may start transitioning to reduced responsibilities or part-time roles.

Senior Citizens (65 Years and Above)

For senior citizens aged 65 and above in Singapore, the median salary generally sees a decline, as a substantial number of individuals retire from the workforce. Those who continue working often do so in less demanding or part-time capacities.

Gender Wage Gap Analysis

In Singapore, the wage gap between genders is a quantifiable disparity. My analysis aims to present a clear understanding of this difference by comparing median salaries and reviewing existing legislation aimed at promoting pay equality.

Male vs Female Median Salary

The median salary for males in Singapore tends to be higher than that of their female counterparts. For instance:

  • Men aged 30-34: S$4,875
  • Women aged 30-34: S$4,550

This indicates a pattern where men earn approximately 7.1% more than women in the same age group, a disparity that can be observed across various age brackets.

Legislation and Gender Pay Equality

Singapore has made strides to ensure that gender does not dictate pay. The Employment Act provides a framework that prohibits salary discrimination based on gender. However, there is no specific enforcement agency dedicated to overseeing gender pay equality, which may affect the efficacy of these regulations. My findings suggest that while the legislation provides a foundation for equal pay, practical enforcement measures could be strengthened to close the wage gap further.

Educational Attainment and Salary Trends

My research shows a direct correlation between educational attainment and salary trends in Singapore. Salary expectations tend to increase with higher levels of education. 

No Formal Education

Singaporeans without formal education generally encounter limited job prospects, reflected in the lower income range. Average Monthly Salary: S$2,200.

Primary Education

Individuals with primary education fare slightly better, though their earnings are typically below the national median. Average Monthly Salary: S$2,700.

Secondary Education

Those who have completed secondary education see improved employment opportunities, with salaries showing a moderate increase. Average Monthly Salary: S$3,500.

Tertiary Education (Diplomas and Certificates)

Adults with diplomas or certificates from polytechnics or technical institutes often secure specialised jobs, yielding competitive salaries. Average Monthly Salary: S$5,000.

University Graduates

University graduates possess the highest earning potential, with distinct advantages in the job market. Average Monthly Salary (Bachelor’s Degree): S$6,500, Master’s Degree: S$9,000, Ph.D.: S$10,500.

Ethnicity and Income Disparities

In Singapore’s multi-ethnic society, income disparities are observable across different ethnic groups. I shall present data that reflects these discrepancies, focusing on the Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other ethnic groups residing in Singapore.


The Chinese community in Singapore typically experiences the highest median salaries across all ethnic groups. According to the latest statistics, the median income for Chinese residents is as follows:

  • Age 25-29: SGD 3,500
  • Age 30-39: SGD 6,000
  • Age 40-49: SGD 7,800

These figures demonstrate a steady increase in income with age, showcasing potential career progression for individuals within this ethnic group.


For the Malay community, median earnings are generally lower than those of their Chinese counterparts. The figures indicate:

  • Age 25-29: SGD 3,000
  • Age 30-39: SGD 4,500
  • Age 40-49: SGD 6,000

While there is also an upward trend with age, the increments are notably smaller, which could point to different career trajectories or other socio-economic factors at play.


The Indian ethnic group in Singapore shows a median salary distribution that falls between the Chinese and Malay communities. The typical median incomes look like:

  • Age 25-29: SGD 3,300
  • Age 30-39: SGD 5,500
  • Age 40-49: SGD 7,000

This suggests that Indians, on average, earn more than Malays but less than Chinese, highlighting nuanced differences within the population.

Other Ethnic Groups

Other ethnic groups in Singapore, including Eurasians and those of mixed heritage, depict a varied income landscape. Due to the diverse nature of this category, salary averages can range widely:

  • Age 25-29: SGD 3,100 – 3,700
  • Age 30-39: SGD 4,600 – 6,200
  • Age 40-49: SGD 6,500 – 8,000

These values represent a broad spectrum, indicating the heterogeneity of this group in terms of career options and educational backgrounds.

Government Policies Affecting Salaries

In Singapore, governmental interventions play a pivotal role in shaping salary structures across various demographics, including age, gender, education, and race. As I examine these policies, it becomes clear that they’re designed to create a balanced and competitive economic environment.

Minimum Wage Policies: I acknowledge that Singapore does not have a traditional minimum wage system. However, the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) establishes pay standards for specific sectors, like cleaning and security, indirectly influencing wage levels.

From July 2024 onwards, companies hiring foreign workers are now required to pay local employees a minimum wage of S$1,600, or a part-time hourly rate of S$10.50 per hour for part-timers.

Central Provident Fund (CPF): The CPF is a mandatory pension savings scheme affecting salary. A portion of my income is allocated to the CPF, which in turn can impact my take-home pay. This contribution rate is adjusted occasionally and varies according to age groups, impacting net salaries differently.

Equal Employment Opportunities: The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) promotes fair hiring, encouraging employers to pay based on merit rather than age, race, gender, or religion. Thus, policies advocating for such practices influence salary equality.

Education-Based Salary Scales: The government often incentivises higher education through subsidised programmes. Such incentives can lead to a workforce that’s more skilled, which translates to higher median salaries, particularly for those with tertiary education.

Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme: For lower-income workers, the WIS scheme supplements wages and retirement savings, providing additional income support. This policy ensures a minimum standard of living for all workers, affecting the overall salary landscape.

My understanding of these policies allows me to see their direct and indirect impacts on salaries, ensuring growth and fairness in Singapore’s labour market.

Comparison with International Median Salaries

When considering median salaries globally, Singapore stands out due to its strong economy and high standard of living. In comparison to other major economies, the median salary in Singapore is considerably competitive. For instance, I find that the median salary in the United States, as reported by the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), is roughly 53,490 USD, which translates to approximately 72,800 SGD at current exchange rates.

In contrast, countries within the European Union (EU) exhibit a wider range of median salaries. According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, countries like Germany have a median salary of about 40,800 EUR (approximately 61,100 SGD), while other EU nations like Bulgaria rest at the lower end with median earnings of around 7,000 EUR (about 10,500 SGD). The UK’s median salary stands around 31,461 GBP, or roughly 56,300 SGD.

Japan, as reported by its Statistics Bureau, has a median salary of approximately 4,140,000 JPY, equating to about 47,400 SGD, which puts it at a lower level compared to Singapore’s median earnings.

Here’s a simplified table that highlights these comparisons:

CountryMedian Salary (Local Currency)Median Salary (SGD)
United States53,490 USD72,800 SGD
Germany40,800 EUR61,100 SGD
Bulgaria7,000 EUR10,500 SGD
United Kingdom31,461 GBP56,300 SGD
Japan4,140,000 JPY47,400 SGD

This snapshot, albeit concise, provides a clear view of how Singapore’s median salary compares internationally. It’s important to note that cost of living and purchasing power parity is integral to evaluating the real value of these figures.

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