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Statistics of youth in Singapore (National Youth Council)


In a large-scale study conducted by Fei Yue Counselling Centre in October 2002, which involved surveying students from nine secondary schools in the northeast region (N=5773), they found that the most prevalent delinquent act is damaging school properties, followed by getting into public facilities without paying, truancy, and purposely hurting or beating up someone.

There were more girls than boys among those who damaged school properties and played truant.

In terms of educational level, delinquent acts were more prevalent among secondary 2 and 3 students.

In terms of academic stream, delinquent acts are more prevalent among students in the Normal Technical (NT) stream. NT students have the highest commission rate of 25 out of the 30 delinquent acts listed.

Delinquent acts are more prevalent among students whose parents are separated or divorced, Higher proportions of delinquent acts are also found among students from both ends of the income spectrum, that is, those from low-income families as well as from well-to-do families.

Premarital Sex

In a survey conducted by National Youth Council in 2000, 48% of our youth perceives sex before marriage as unacceptable even when two people love each other. The youth surveyed were split in their views as to whether pre-marital sex is ok if the couple practice safe sex - 34% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement while 35% held the opposite view. Similarly, people were split in their views regarding the idea of living together as a couple before getting married - 32% concurred with this statement while 35% disagreed or strongly diasgreed.


In a large-scale study conducted by Fei Yue Counselling Centre in October 2002, which involved surveying students from nine secondary schools in the northeast region (N=5773), most students thought they would be able to resist pressures or temptations when they encounter situations where they are pressured or tempted into having sex. There were more girls than boys who thought so.

  • Approximately 30% of the students have friends who were having sex.
  • Approximately 40% of the students have half or less than half of their friends believe in abstinence from pre-marital sex.
  • Approximately 60% of the students have some, if not many friends, who hold permissive values towards pre-marital sex.
  • The three most common reasons for having pre-marital sex are curiosity, to satisfy desire, and for love.
  • The three most common reasons for abstinence are to avoid getting AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and the loss of self-respect.

Smoking / Tobacco Use

Health Promotion Board figures show that in 2001, 8 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 years old smoked. This was 2 per cent more than in the 1998 National Health Survey.

In the Singapore Youth Tobacco Survey 2000 involving 13,000 secondary school students in Singapore , it found that one in four under-aged youths have smoked before. 11.2% have lit up at least once in the month before the survey, including 2.4% who smoke daily. 13.4% of boys and 8.8% of girls were smokers. Despite it being illegal to sell cigarettes to those under 18, half of those surveyed said they could buy cigarettes from shops.

Among females, more 18-29 year olds smoked, and their percentage rose from 5% in 1998 to 7% in 2004.

Substance Abuse

A finding shared in 2002 revealed that more than a third of ketamine abusers were aged between 20 and 24, and 55% were younger than 25. One in three of the young abusers of such synthetic drugs was a female. (The Straits Times, May 31, 2002 )

Sexual Behaviour

In the 2004 Global Sex Survey by Durex, the average of Singaporean youths¡¯ first sex is 18.9 years. The average age when they first received sex education is 14 years, which is about the time when sex education is taught in school as part of the curriculum. This figure is almost the same as our neighbours like Thailand and Malaysia .

  • Almost half the Singaporean respondents (52%) indicated that parent/guardian should be the ones teaching sex education, followed by school (32%).
  • 39% of Singapore youth have unprotected sex and 69% of them rate HIV/AIDS as their top sexual concern. Another 22% indicated that the other sexual concern was unwanted pregnancy. When asked where government should focus, 47% of them responded that they should focus on sex education in schools, followed by educational initiatives (21%), free contraception (14%), and advertising campaigns (11%).
  • Singapore youth are having sex 79 times a year and are the least sexually active together with Hong Kong and Japan . Singapore youth have had an average of 5.8 sexual partners, which is low compared to the global average of 10.5.