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Conferences and Workshops

Living Alone: One-person Households in Asia Print
Date: 05 Dec 2013 - 06 Dec 2013
Venue: Asia Research Institute Seminar Room
469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road
National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Prof YEUNG Wei-Jun Jean

This conference is organised by Asia Research Institute, and supported by the Family, Children and Youth cluster,  and the Health Cluster of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore.

The primary objective of this conference is to advance theoretical and empirical knowledge on the formation of one-person households in Asia and their implications for individual well-being and intergenerational relations. Invited presenters will examine the trends and determinants of one-person households in Asian countries as well as the well-being of those who live alone. Based on data from censuses, surveys, or indepth interviews, these studies use either quantitative or qualitative methods to investigate the main theme of this conference in about a dozen countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asian and West Asia. Several studies involve longitudinal or comparative analyses.

Family structure in Asia has undergone significant changes in the past several decades. A fast-growing trend that has raised concerns by scholars and policy makers is an increase in one-person households. By 2020, it is estimated that four out of the top ten countries with highest number of one-person households in the world will be in Asia. The increase raises questions regarding how family functions, and indeed regarding the definition of family system itself. Statistics show a high level of heterogeneity among groups who live alone, some by choice, others out of needs. The increasing number of one-person households for both young adults and elderly warrants special attention as they are the two groups with the highest propensity to live in a one-person household. This group of population may be at higher risk of financial stress or social isolation. In particular, studies on solo-living of young adults are rare in the Asian context. In the face of vastly different paces of change, structurally and culturally, in the region, systematic research that examines the trends of one-person households in different Asian societies will help us gain new knowledge about the impacts of social changes on families across Asia.


Prof Wei-Jun Jean YEUNG
Asia Research Institute, and Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore

Dr Adam Ka-Lok CHEUNG
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Ms Valerie YEO
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
#10-01 Tower Block, 469A Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259770
Tel: (65) 6516-5279
Fax: (65) 6779-1428

Contact Person: Mdm Valerie YEO