What to Consider for Sample Design in Singapore

Singapore is a small city-state, with only around 5.6 million people (including over 1.6M foreign workers, who would not typically be survey targets).

While there is no rural classification, stratifying by housing type is usual, as well as by district. 80% of Singaporeans live in public flats (known as HDB), 15% in private apartments, and only 5% in landed property. The more affluent strata of Society are thus hard to reach door to door due to security gates etc.

Singapore is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country, with people of Chinese (76.2%), Malay (15.0%), and Indian (7.4%) origin making up the majority of the population.

English is the main working language and is used for education. The other official languages are Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. While almost all young Singaporeans are bilingual, when targeting older or less educated Singaporeans, translation of materials to their first language or dialect is necessary.

Compared to most Asian countries, Singaporeans below 50 years old are highly educated and technology-savvy. This makes research using digital methodologies feasible with most targets. As locals are also enthusiastic adopters of new products and technologies, many companies use Singapore as an initial test-bed for other ASEAN markets.

Random CATI meets very poor success as most people do not entertain calls from unknown numbers. B2B CATI is also difficult due to lack of empowerment in most businesses whereby gate-keepers refuse to help without management approval. Emails and letters often need to be sent first if the survey isn’t customer list-based.

Usually only 1 focus group can be conducted per day if targeting working consumers, due to work-life style. Few SEC C1+ people here would leave work early for such purposes.

The Research Pacific Group’s HQ & regional project management centre is in Singapore where we conduct all types of qualitative and quantitative research. For further information, please click here.

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