Finance at SAS 803: Student Demographics Part 1

Finance at SAS 803: Student Demographics Part 1

For many parents, one of the most remarkable things about an SAS education is the diversity of their children's classmates. This year, our school community includes students from 65 nations, all seeking "an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective." We are pleased to explore the details of our 2018–19 student body in this week's finance article.

How "American" is Singapore American School?

SAS is committed to maintaining a diverse student population with a strong American element. The relevant school board policy states that the school "will seek to maintain a student body comprising American and non-American students so as to provide strong American character as well as international diversity."

SAS remains the school of choice for Americans living in Singapore, with 2,224 of our current students holding US passports. The percentage of SAS students with US passports has fluctuated throughout our school's history. For instance, between 2006 and 2012 it increased from 59% to 70%; it then fell to 53% last August. With 57% of our new students US citizens, our proportion of American students has again increased, and we started this year with 55% of the student body holding US passports.

2018–19 SAS enrollment by nationality

Details on 2nd Passport Holders (% of all students)

Singapore: 2.8%
Japan: 1.6%
Korea: 1.3%
United Kingdom: 1.0%
Canada: 0.7%

Australia: 0.6%
Indonesia: 0.3%
Taiwan: 0.3%
Philippines: 0.3%
Others: 3.0%


Looking more closely at our numbers, we see that within our American student population there is significant diversity, with one-fifth of our US citizens also holding a second passport. Including these, our students now hold 65 separate passports, a new record for SAS! And even these numbers do not completely demonstrate our students' diversity because many of our American students have lived mainly outside the US and some have at least one parent with a different citizenship.

Shifts in non-American student numbers

We carefully assess the demographic changes in our school community to better understand and serve our students. While the top ten nationalities at SAS have remained the same since 2013, their order has shifted as our Indian and Chinese students' numbers have risen:

  • Our Indian students have been our second largest national group for four years, and with 449 students, they make up 11% of this year's enrollment.
  • Korean students have consistently made up about 6% of enrollment over the last decade, and with 250 students, Koreans are our third largest national group.
  • Our Chinese student numbers continue a six-year rise. With 216 students, China accounts for 5% of our students, placing fourth on our passport list. Although counted separately, our Hong Kong SAR passport-holders are also increasing; a combined China–Hong Kong group would now place third on our list.
  • Our Singaporean student numbers, which had grown steadily in recent years, decreased due to the government making available fewer waivers required for local students applying to non-government schools such as SAS. With 215 students, Singaporeans now make up 5% of enrollment, and our host country drops from third to fifth on our list.
  • Student numbers from Japan, Canada and Australia have remained constant for several years. With between 90 and 65 students each, these countries are sixth, seventh, and eighth on our list.
  • Modest declines in student numbers from the United Kingdom and the Philippines put these countries at ninth and tenth on our table.
  • If we add up our numbers from European Union countries, we have a total of 153 students, or nearly 4% of enrollment. If we counted the EU as one country, it would place sixth in our passport table.

History of student enrollment, top ten nationalities

The "other" 9% of our students hold primary passports from 47 countries, with our total number of home countries, including second passports, rising to 65 this year. Although we no longer have students from Hungary, Lebanon, Maldives, Nepal, and Romania, we welcome students representing Chile, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Uzbekistan.

Current SAS students' passports, in descending order

Top 10 passports, with over 45 students each

United States
India
Korea
China
Singapore
Japan
Canada
Australia
United Kingdom
Philippines

10–44 students each

Hong Kong SAR
Indonesia
Malaysia
Taiwan
New Zealand
France
Brazil
Thailand
Netherlands
Switzerland
Germany
Denmark

1–9 students each

Spain
Belgium
Sweden
Vietnam
Russia
Pakistan
Italy
Turkey
South Africa
Argentina
Portugal
Myanmar
Mexico

Bangladesh
Peru
Bulgaria
Sri Lanka
Colombia
Brunei
Norway
Ireland
Belarus
Chile
Egypt
Ukraine
Mauritius
Angola
Finland

Fiji
Iran
Poland
Cyprus
Ethiopia
Mozambique
Uzbekistan
Austria
Greece
Honduras
Israel
Jamaica
Jordan
St. Kitts and Nevis
Venezuela


How long do students from different countries stay at SAS?

This year the average tenure of all currently enrolled students, as well as the average stay for American students, has risen from 3.9 to 4.2 years. US diplomatic and naval families average stays of under three years, while other Americans stay longer. Of our other largest groups, children from the Philippines and New Zealand average the longest stays, at 8.3 and 7.0 years respectively. Students from Singapore, Indonesia, and Canada average over 5 years at SAS, while our British, Japanese, Korean and Australian students average between 4 and 5 years. Reflecting their increasing numbers, our Indian and Chinese students currently show the shortest average tenures of our major groups, at 3.4 and 3.1 years, respectively.

We hope you have enjoyed learning more about your children's classmates. In Student Demographics Part 2, we will explore the leading reasons why SAS families are living in Singapore, where they live, and other aspects of our community. If you missed our previous finance article, Safety on the Bus, please read it here. As always, we welcome comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles at mrogers@sas.edu.sg.