This space shares official statistics on issues relating to child protection and juvenile justice in Singapore.  These figures have been extracted from state documents, the mainstream media and other published material.

* By October 2010, we will be publishing new statistics on youth resiliency gleaned from a national survey we are currently conducting on teens from all walks of life. 

Resident population below 20 years of age
Youth demographics  
Leadership & voluntarism
Sports participation
Selected labour force indicators
Selected education indicators
School enrolment rates
School drop-out rates
Unemployment rates
Residential Services and Child Protection
Beyond Parental Control
Recidivism rates
Youth offending
International adult incarceration rates
Child protection
Age-specific and total fertility rates
Teenage births
Abandoned babies and teen abortion rates
Suicides in children between 5 & 18 years of age

Resident population below 20 years of age

Resident population aged below 20 years by age group

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
0-4 years 210,000 204,800 199,600 194,400 193,600
5-9 years 247,000 240,500 237,200 235,200 229,500
10-14 years 259,100 257,300 258,600 256,400 255,300
15-19 years 214,000 227,400 234,900 246,500 257,300

“As of end June 2007, the resident population was 3,583,100, a growth of 6.4% from 2003.  Of the total resident population in 2007, 18.9% (678,400) were aged below 15 years …”

Source: Singapore’s Second and Third Periodic Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, January 2009 by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore (page 2 & 3)

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Youth Demographics

Total youth population (aged between 15 & 34)

  2006 2007
Total population (‘000) 4, 401.4 4,588.6
Resident population (‘000) 3,525.9 3,583.1
Resident youth population (‘000)
(Singaporeans and Permanent Residents)
1, 011.1 1, 024.8

Source: Yearbook of Statistics Singapore, 2008 and Resident Population, 2003-2007, Singapore Department of Statistics

Resident youth population by age group, gender, ethnicity and religion

Age group 2006 2007
15—19 24.4 25.1
20—24 21.7 21.4
25—29 24.9 24.8
30—34 29.0 28.7

Gender 2006 2007
Females 50.7 50.7
Males 49.3 49.3

Ethnicity 2007
Chinese 73.4
Malay 14.7
Indian 9.4
Other 2.5

Religion   2000
Christianity 14.5
Buddhism / Taoism 46.4
Islam 16.6
Hinduism 4.2
Sikhism 0.4
Other religions 0.2
No declared religion 17.7

Source: Yearbook of Statistics Singapore, 2008 and Resident Population, 2003-2007, Singapore Department of Statistics

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Leadership and voluntarism

Involvement in leadership by age group (%)

  2002 2005
 15—18   26.0 56.0
 18—22 14.0 24.0
 23—26 9.0 13.0
 27—29 8.0 8.0

Source: Individual Giving Survey (2008), National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)

National volunteerism rate (%)

Age group 2006 2008
Females 28.0 23.0
Males 11.0 13.0

Source: Individual Giving Survey (2008), National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)

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Sports participation

Regular sports participation by age (%)

Age group 2005
15—19 82.8
20—39 60.4

Top 5 popular sports among youth (%)

Sporting activity Percent
Jogging 37.9
Football 22.5
Swimming 22.5
Basketball/street basketball 19.3
Badminton 16.4

Source: YOUTH Statistics in Brief 2009, National Youth Council

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Selected labour force indicators

Age-age specific resident labour force participation rates (%)

Age group 2006 2007
15—19 12.4 13.6
20—24 70.7 66.6
25—29 89.0 89.9
30—34 87.2 87.7

Source: YOUTH Statistics in Brief 2009, National Youth Council

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Selected education indicators

Mean years of schooling 

  2006 2007
Mean years of schooling (resident non-students aged 15—29 years) 12.3 12.2

% pf Primary 1 cohort who say for: 2006 2007
PSLE and passed 98.6 98.5
GCE N or O Level Examinations and had at least 5 N Level passes or 3 O Level passes 86.7 87.5
GCE A Level Examinations and had at least 3 H2 passes (with a pass in GP or KI) 25.2 24.0

% pf Primary 1 cohort admitted into: 2006 2007
Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) 22.0 20.7
Polytechnics (including full-time Diploma students from LA SALLE College of the Arts & Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) 41.0 42.2
Junior Colleges / Centralised Institutes 29.4 30.5
Universities (NUS, NTU, SMU) 23.9 23.6

Source: Education Statistics Digest 2008, Ministry of Education (MOE)

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School enrolment rates

No of children not enrolled in Primary 1

  • 152 kids in 2009, with a similar number shown the previous year
  • A new trend shows that children are registered in schools but may not attend

Enrolment Ratios of Students by Level of Study

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Primary 94.9 94.9 97.3 96.6 97.1
Sec 93.8 93.4 94.3 94.5 95.1
Post Sec 50.6 49.5 63.9 68.7 71.8
Tertiary 46.8 47.5 51.9 55.9 58.6

*Enrolment ratios are expressed as percentage of population in that particular age group that are enrolled in schools  
Source: Ministry of Education

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School-drop out rates

 % of cohort who dropped out of school

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
3.2 2.6 2.3 1.9 1.6

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Unemployment rates 

Levels of unemployment by education

Education Level 2007 2008 Percentage Increase
Below Sec 13,100 21,300 65.4
Sec 15,700 16,200 9.4
Upper Sec 5,500 11,100 69.6
Polytechnic 3,900 6,400 64.7
Degree 6,200 14,800 123.1
Total 44,300 69,900 57.8

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Residential Services and Child Protection

New Admissions to MCYS Juvenile Homes

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Total 418 338 356 334 357
Homes
Singapore Boy’s Home 284 221 236 213 244
Singapore Girl’s Home 134 117 120 121 113

Source:  Beyond Parental Control, Subordinate Courts Research Bulletin

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Beyond Parental Control  

New cases of BPC (2nd and 3rd UNCRC reports from MCYS)

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Gender
Male 75 61 41 61 69
Female 89 75 70 86 71
Age
8-10 yrs 2 6 5 2 5
11-12 yrs 14 11 9 16 11
13-14 yrs 93 72 61 83 70
15-16 yrs 55 47 36 46 54
Total 164 136 111 147 140

On average there are 200 complaints to the Juvenile Court each year. Two-thirds of these cases are filed by mothers.

Common Complaints:
48% - Beyond Parental Conntrol
44% - Running away
2%   - Theft and theft related issues
2%   - Violence

Other less common complaints were truanting, defiance, secret society involvement, pregnancy and mental-related issues

Of these:

  • Two-thirds sought help from other agencies (e.g FSCs 44.6%) before going to court
  • GENDER: 2/3s are females are 1/3 males
  • ETHNICITY- 61% Chinese, 24% Malay, 12% Indians
  • EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: 6 in 10 of all BPC cases are in school – 61% (Lower Secondary), 25% (Upper Secondary), 12% (Primary), 2% (Institutes of Technical Education)

Source: Singapore’s Second and Third Periodic Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, January 2009 by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore

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Recidivism rates

Recidivism rates (Singapore Prisons) within 2 yrs

1998 2002 2003 2005 2006
44.4% 31.2% 24.9% 24.2% 25.1%

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Youth offending

Number of youths arrested between 7 & 19 years of age

Arrest rates 2006 2007
Number of Juveniles arrested (7-15 yrs) arrested 1987 2131
Number of Youth arrested (7-19 yrs) arrested 4280 4526
Number of admissions to MCYS Juvenile Homes: 467 477
Boys 346 364
Girls 121 113

Three of the most common offences for arrest (7-19 years of age)

Cases 2006 2007
Shop theft 1,260 1,294
Other theft (include theft of bicycles, theft from motor vehicles and theft from persons) 591 520
Rioting 500 461

Source: Crime Situation 2007, Singapore Police Force

Young offenders under 18 yrs sentenced to imprisonment or reformative training

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Imprisonment RTC Imprisonment RTC Imprisonment RTC Imprisonment RTC Imprisonment RTC
267 166 192 150 176 157 65 124 50 137

Number of youth arrested for loan-sharking

2006 2007 2008 2009
(1st 5 months)
12 56 63 56

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International adult incarceration rates

A listing of countries with some of the world’s highest adult incarceration rates in descending order (per 100, 000 population)

A comparative listing of adult incarceration rates

Country Population
per 100,000
USA  738
Russian Federation  607
Cuba  487
Ukraine  360
Singapore  350
Botswana  339
South Africa  335

From the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (November 2006)

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Child Protection

Filings of Child Protection Order (CPO) cases in Juvenile Court

1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 (1st half)
19 41 25 38 44 39 40 49 20

Children in Foster Care and Foster Mothers

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
No in foster care 144 194 232 275 289
No of foster mothers in fostering scheme 137 154 161 178 189

 New admissions to children’s homes annually

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Gender
Male 171 264 228 262 281
Female 247 320 275 318 249
Age
<6 yrs 153 284 37 35 29
6-9 yrs 171 198 80 113 110
10-15 yrs 78 82 329 370 362
>15 yrs 16 20 57 62 29
Total 418 584 503 580 530

Child abuse cases investigated (MCYS)

  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
No of cases investigated 205 170 158 150 154
No of cases with evidence of abuse 103 92 101 58 98
No of cases with lack/no evidence of abuse but has stress factors 102 74 57 91 54
No of false complaints 0 4 0 1 0

Reported categories of abuse (MCYS)

Abuse
Year Physical Abuse Sexual Abuse Total*
2000 34 15 61
2001 43 17 70
2002 32 29 69
2003 60 32 103
2004 49 22 92
2005 42 41 101
2006 35 19 57
2007 49 48 99
2008 56 49 114

* Includes physical neglect and emotional abuse

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Age specific and total fertility rates (per 1,000 resident females)

Age group 2006 2007
15—19 6.6 6.1
20—24 30.6 31.2
25—29 79.6 78.7
30—34 93.1 94.4

Source: YOUTH Statistics in Brief 2009, National Youth Council

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Teenage births

TEENAGE BIRTHS, 1998 – 2007

Year Total
1998 787
1999 873
2000 953
2001 891
2002 843
2003 731
2004 781
2005 853
2006 838
2007 820

Of the 820 teenage births in 2007, 15 babies were born to teenagers below 15 years of age.

In 2007, there were 561 single parent registration births (registered without the father’s name).  About 34.9% of these births (approximately 196) were born to teenagers.

Source: Report on Registration of Births and Deaths 2007 by the Registry of Births and Deaths, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Singapore

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Abandoned babies and teen abortion rates

Recorded number of abandoned babies between 2005&2007

Abandoned
babies reported
2005-2007
Found Alive 7
Found Dead 5
  • Babies born to mothers aged below 15 average approximately 15 babies a year (between 2004 & 2009)
  • In 2008, 10 babies were born to mothers under 15 and 798 to mothers (15-19 yrs)
  • The number of teenagers seeking abortion in 2006 and 2007 totaled to 2800
  • There were  a recorded number of 1,289 abortions in 2008

*Statistics extracted from published media sources

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Suicides in children between 5 & 18 years of age

SUICIDES IN CHILDREN 5 – 18 YEARS

Year Total
2003 17
2004 9
2005 10
2006 7
2007 14

Source: Singapore’s Second and Third Periodic Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, January 2009 by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore (page 64)

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