“When I wake up in the morning, there are only seven things on my mind – my children. I know they
depend on me. I am their only pillar,” says Mila. Earning less than US$800 a month as a washroom
cleaner, Mila has to support her family in one of the world’s most expensive – and most unequal – cities.
An extensive social welfare system helps to some extent: some 85 percent of Singapore’s resident
population lives in public housing. But income equality, albeit less than in Hong Kong, its Asian rival, is
greater than in the US or UK, and widening. In 2011, Singapore had 188,000 millionaire households –
about 17 percent of the total, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the world.