Structure of the System

Singapore has adopted a decentralised statistical system since 1973. Official statistics are collected and compiled by the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) as well as Research and Statistics Units (RSUs) in government ministries and statutory boards.

DOS has the widest scope of responsibility in the Singapore statistical system, being responsible for official statistics on the Singapore economy and population.

In some ministries and statutory boards, RSUs gazetted under the Statistics Act are empowered to collect data under their subject matter purview for statistical purposes under the Statistics Act. RSUs in other ministries and statutory boards that are not gazetted under the Statistics Act may collect data under administrative regulations or Acts of the parent organisation.

The key responsibilities of DOS and the gazetted and non-gazetted RSUs are summarised in the table below.

Singapore Statistical System

DOS
  • National statistical authority responsible for official statistics on the Singapore economy and population
Gazetted RSUs
  • Responsible for statistics on specific subject matters under the parent ministry’s purview;
  • Empowered to issue requisition for data under the Statistics Act
Non-Gazetted RSUs
  • Responsible for statistics on specific subject matters under the parent ministry’s purview;
  • Collect data under administrative regulations or other Acts

Benefits of the Decentralised Statistical System

The decentralised statistical system meets users’ needs for comprehensive economic and social statistics. It fosters closer contact and greater interaction between statistical personnel and data users, leading to more relevant statistics being collected and analysed.

Through leveraging administrative records, a larger range of statistics can be compiled on a more timely and cost-effective basis.

With statistical personnel specialising in subject matters, DOS and the RSUs can focus on providing quality statistics, contributing to the high standard of professionalism in the Singapore statistical system.

The decentralised system is complemented by greater coordination of statistical activities and adoption of common standards, through the co-ordinating role played by DOS to minimise duplication of work and reduce respondent burden; frequent discussions with relevant agencies on statistical matters; and legislative and administrative changes which promote the adoption of national statistical standards.

DOS Divisions

An introduction to the work of the various Divisions in DOS is available from the Factsheet on DOS Divisions.