What is MIS?

Researchers in Singapore are undertaking research on the Minimum Income Standard, and are part of a network of countries carrying out similar research around the world.

The Minimum Income Standard (MIS) refers to a research method establishing what incomes households require in order to reach a ‘minimum’ standard of living, appropriate for the place and time in which they live. It is reached by talking in depth to groups of members of the public, asking them to agree what goods and services households require in order to have such a living standard. The results are used to construct minimum budgets for different household types. MIS is about more than just what is needed to survive, and refers to what is required to be part of society, according to definitions produced in each country by members of the public.

In Singapore, the first MIS research project (publication in May 2019) investigated how ordinary Singaporeans think about what constitutes basic needs in Singapore today, and sought to determine the household budgets necessary to meet these needs for older people. The second report (publication in October 2021) focused on households comprising parents (single or partnered) and children aged up to 25, as well as updating the 2019 report for changes in the costs of living.