- Singapore ranks seventh out of 10 Asian countries in relationship fulfilment
- People are happiest with partners although 24 per cent consider breaking up once a week
- Couples are more likely to argue over children than money
Singapore, 13 October, 2016 – People in Singapore derive more fulfilment from their relationships with spouses and partners than any other personal relationships, according to Asia’s first relationship index launched by Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Prudential Singapore). The 2016 Prudential Relationship Index1 measures, via a numerical score, how satisfied people are with their primary relationships such as those with partners, children, family and friends.
On average, the relationship score that people in Singapore have for their partners is 63/100. This means partners fulfil 63 per cent of what people in Singapore believe is important in a good relationship. Those surveyed said they appreciate partners who are easy to get along with (77 per cent), enjoy doing things together (75 per cent), respect their individuality (70 per cent), are honest (66 per cent), and enjoy the sound of companionable silence (62 per cent).
People in Singapore also enjoy relatively strong ties with their children, with a relationship score of 46/100. The average score for parents is 44/100, while best friends get 41/100. Colleagues, however, score just 23/100, although 42 per cent of working people in Singapore said their best friends include several of their work colleagues.
Ms Angela Hunter, Chief Marketing Officer at Prudential Singapore, said the Prudential Relationship Index provides a snapshot of the health of relationships in Singapore, highlighting the areas that contribute to happiness and those that require attention.
“Relationships are at the heart of our business. We know our customers buy our products to protect the people and relationships they care most about. We also know that good relationships lead to good health. Through the Prudential Relationship Index, we want to help people in Singapore understand better their relationships so they can make them more rewarding.
“The findings from the research are both cause for celebration and concern. Celebration in that people in Singapore value relationships grounded on important attributes such as partnership, companionship, respect and honesty. However, clear gaps are also present in the level of relationship satisfaction, with family demands, financial uncertainty and technology causing rising tension and stress,” said Ms Hunter.
People in Singapore lag most Asians in relationship fulfilment
Across the region, people in Singapore score lower than many of their Asian peers on relationship fulfilment despite being more affluent. Singapore is placed seventh out of 10 Asian countries in the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index, with an overall relationship score of 68/100.
Indeed, the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index indicates that there are many stressed relationships in Singapore. In any given week, 24 per cent of married people in Singapore surveyed think seriously about leaving their spouse. 34 per cent often argue with their partners, including 20 per cent who say these arguments lead to verbal abuse.
The most likely sources of arguments between couples in Singapore are children (46 per cent), followed by money (41 per cent) and housework (29 per cent). Quarrels over children may stem from the unequal responsibilities at home, with 51 percent of women saying they spend more time looking after the children compared with 25 per cent of men.
Messy relationship with children
Parents in Singapore are the most likely people in Asia to become upset with their children (47 per cent), citing housework as a key reason. According to the survey, 67 per cent of parents in Singapore tidy up after their children at least once a week, with 33 per cent doing so every day. This figure does not change significantly even as children grow older, with 31 per cent saying they clean up every day after children above the age of 18.
While most parents arrange extra-curricular activities for young children under the age of 12 (68 per cent), the proportion is lower than in most of the other Asian countries and territories surveyed. The exception is Vietnam, where just 58 per cent of parents have such activities for their kids. This finding for Singapore could be due to the confidence parents have for the country’s education system.
Banking on themselves
When it comes to finances, people in Singapore are more financially independent than people in other parts of Asia, with 56 per cent stating they receive no financial support from anyone. This compares with an Asian average of 37 per cent. This financial independence is reflected in personal relationships, with only 15 per cent of the people in Singapore describing an ideal partner as one who provides daily financial support.
Many couples control their finances separately although 51 per cent of married people in Singapore have joint bank accounts. The men and women in Singapore have different roles when it comes to household finances. For instance, 52 per cent of men say they control spending on large expenses compared with just 15 per cent of women. However, for day-to-day expenses, 51 per cent of women say they exercise the most control versus 31 per cent of men.
Single and independent
The financial independence of people in Singapore could be one of the reasons for those marrying late in Singapore. Singapore has the highest proportion of singles in Asia, with nearly one in four (23 per cent) being unmarried and do not currently have partners. This compares with 15 per cent for the region. Of those who are 40 years or above, 17 per cent are single, have never married and are unattached.
Amid the stress of city life, the digital revolution has impacted relationships in Singapore, where partners and parents often compete with smart phones for love and attention. For instance, 32 per cent of couples in Singapore say their partner sometimes prefers their mobile phones to spending time with them. Meanwhile, 48 per cent say they spend more time messaging friends than actually talking face-to-face.
Ms Hunter said the round-the-clock connections provided by increasingly smart and powerful mobile devices have intruded into personal spaces. “We are constantly distracted by our phones and emails, such that we sometimes fail to be present in the company of our families and friends. We need to pause every now and then to strengthen the relationships that really matter,” she said.
To encourage Singaporeans to reconnect with their loved ones, Prudential carried out a social experiment in the beginning of the year, whereby couples and family members were invited to look quietly at each other for four minutes to help them evoke a deeper emotional connection. The social experiment generated strong community interest with more than 21 million views online, and won the Best Media Solution (Gold) and Best Campaign (Silver) at the 2016 Sparks Awards for Media Excellence.
For more information on the Prudential Relationship Index:
Prudential Relationship Index Microsite
Download the Report
The Prudential Relationship Index report
The “That’s Me” relationship video
Notes to Editor
ABOUT the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index
The Prudential Relationship Index was developed to understand the state of personal relationships in Asia. Given the vital importance of relationships to people’s happiness, wellbeing and longevity, the Prudential Relationship Index offers deep understanding and insight into relationships: how to make them stronger, better and more rewarding. More than 5,000 interviews were conducted in 10 countries and territories in Asia. These included Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Interviews were conducted between 13 and 31 July 2016 with adults between 25 and 55 years of age. In Singapore, 500 interviews were conducted online with a representative sample of adults in the country. Respondents are residents representing approximately the top two-thirds of household incomes in Singapore.
ABOUT Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited (Prudential Singapore)
Prudential Singapore, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Prudential plc, is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore. We have been serving the financial and protection needs of Singaporeans for 85 years. Our focus is to bring well rounded financial solutions to customers through our multi-channel distribution network, with product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment. We are one of the market leaders in Protection, Savings and Investment-linked plans with S$29.4 billion funds under management as at 30 June 2016. In 2014, we were awarded an AA Financial Strength Rating by leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
For the last 11 consecutive years, we have been awarded the Gold Award in Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands. Since 2007, we have been conferred the People Developer Award by SPRING Singapore for our efforts in training and developing employees and in 2013 and 2014, we were presented with Asia’s Employer of the Year Brand Award by the Branding Institute and the World HRD Congress. Prudential Singapore was also awarded the NTUC Plaque of Commendation (Gold) Award in 2014, and the Singapore Human Resource Institute presented the company with the Leading HR Practices in Quality Work-Life, Physical & Mental Well-Being Award in 2014 and the Leading HR Practices in Lifelong Learning Award in 2015.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Tan Ping Ping
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore
Tel: =+65 6704 7033
Nora Sng/ Joy Fong
Tel: +65 6336 2084/ +65 6336 6742
1 The 2016 Prudential Relationship Index involved interviews with 5000 respondents in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam between 13 and 31 July 2016. In Singapore, 500 respondents took part in the study. Ipsos, a leading research firm, conducted the survey.