As Singapore celebrates its 50th year of independence, Bloomberg treats us to a few little-known tidbits about the uber-wealthy island.
Singapore’s government keeps its ruling hand strong — its Prime Minister is one of the world’s highest paid heads of state — but to the benefit of its residents, much the island has gone from Third World to top of the First World in just two generations. It now houses “one of the highest proportions of millionaire households.”
Not just cash rich, but also sporting mad smarts, Singapore requires car owners to bid for permits called Certificates of Entitlement auctioned by the government in order to keep pollution and congestion at bay. This “drives” up the value of cars — a family sedan costs as much as the average U.S. home.
On the real estate tip, however, money doesn’t seem to buy freedom. Young, single residents are typically required to live with their parents.
The majority of the country’s housing is government-built, with 80 percent of the population living in it. And because those single and under 35 cannot typically purchase a public housing property, they are obliged to hole up with mom and pop — which might even make the mandatory military service for male citizens under 18 look like an alluring way to get out from under their parents’ watchful gaze.