Learning & Development Asia 2024 Singapore
Stressed in Singapore: Rising cost of living is triggering wellbeing issues

Stressed in Singapore: Rising cost of living is triggering wellbeing issues

The rising cost of living, e.g. fuel and utility costs, is the number one stressor in the city-state, as cited by half the respondents.

Survey data shows stress levels in Singapore remain significantly higher compared to the global average, with 86% of Singapore respondents saying they are stressed and 15% saying they struggle to cope with stress.

The city-state’s top stressors are:

  • the rising cost of living (50%), eg fuel and utility costs,
  • uncertainty about the future (38%)
  • personal finance (35%), and
  • family finance (22%).

These results are from Cigna Singapore’s report, titled Stressed in Singapore – Employer Opportunity, which surveyed 1,001 people in Singapore, to track wellbeing in five dimensions: work, family, social, physical, and financial.

Worryingly, Singapore is worse off across all dimensions, compared to APAC and global averages. Among the five dimensions, the score on financial wellbeing is the lowest in the nation, with only one in 5 (20%) confident about their current financial situation or ability to finance their own/family’s medical needs. Among all groups in Singapore, women, singles and those not working have the poorest financial wellbeing.

On the other hand, responses indicate that wellbeing at work has become better off, with the nation scoring 66.2 on the index, +1.6 points from the 2021 survey, but still behind APAC and global average by -3.3 points.

Raymond Ng, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Singapore commented on the results: "Singapore remains one of the most expensive cities to live in both regionally and globally. Recent economic trends have only exacerbated stress levels among adults, especially the younger generation."

Delving deeper into the demographics, in Singapore, Gen Z (aged 18 to 24) are the most stressed (95%). They are also the most emotionally impacted by stress, with 51% saying they became more emotional, and 50% feeling depressed. Knowing that stress manifests physically, telltale symptoms such as loss of concentration (56%) and productivity (48%) were the most evident among Gen Z.

Further, Gen Zs are the most likely to experience symptoms of burnout compared to other age groups, especially procrastination (44% vs. 23%) and experiencing self-doubt (37% vs. 22%). 

Lead image / Cigna Singapore

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