38% of Singaporean youths report drop in quality of life post-pandemic: MCI poll

49 per cent of youths also felt less able to pursue activities and hobbies, compared to 32 per cent of the general population.

Farhana Subuhan

A punctuation enthusiast who thinks misplaced apostrophes are a crime.

Published: 21 March 2023, 5:20 PM

More than 35 per cent of Singaporean youths who took part in a government poll reported a drop in their quality of life, as well as their ability to manage their mental health in 2023. This is in comparison to 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But a higher proportion of Singapore residents (72 per cent) felt that their overall quality of life was the same or better in 2023, compared with the pre-pandemic year.

The poll was commissioned by the Ministry of Communications (MCI) to understand the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various aspects of life among Singapore residents. It was conducted by RySense from Jan 31 to Feb 6 and involved 1,052 Singapore residents aged 15 and above.

Among the youths – defined as those aged 15 to 19 years in the poll – 40 per cent reported that their relationships with friends were poorer than before the pandemic. Additionally, 49 per cent of youths felt less able to pursue activities and hobbies, compared to 32 per cent of the general population.

Seven in 10 Singapore residents also expressed confidence in the ability of the country, the Government, the healthcare system, the community, and themselves to manage future pandemics well.

But 18 per cent of students expressed less confidence about Singapore’s ability to get through another pandemic in the future, as compared to 7 per cent among the general population.

As Singapore emerges from COVID-19, respondents were also asked to rate the overall quality of life now. Nearly seven in 10 residents rated it as “Good” or “Very Good” while ratings of “Poor” or “Very Poor” were generally low across the 10 aspects of life that they were polled on.

Some of these aspects include relationships with family, the overall quality of life, catering to financial needs and having a healthy work-life balance.

However, more than 15 per cent of respondents with multiple dependents such as elderly seniors as well as children in the household were more likely to rate their overall quality of life now to be “Poor” or “Very Poor” as compared to 10 per cent of the general population.

The poll also found that family relationships, relationships with neighbors, and relationships with friends became stronger or remained the same for 77, 82, and 71 per cent of respondents respectively.

In its press release, MCI said that the findings suggest the Government’s response to the pandemic, including measures to support families and communities, may have contributed to the strengthening of social capital in Singapore.

The ministry added that where the survey sample was not representative of the resident population by gender, age, or race, it was weighted accordingly to ensure representativeness.

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