While more than 85% of the elderly in Singapore co-reside with their children, the dynamics behind this figure can only be understood through qualitative research that considers the Singaporean multi-cultural and urban context. The cultural determinants affecting living arrangements in the 3 major ethnic groups differ. In addition, within each group, cultural norms were undergoing transitions, though at different paces. More interestingly, normative obligations, which in the past had a strong impact on patterns of living arrangements, were treated as only 1 consideration among other practical and emotional issues. External influences like government housing policies, modern lifestyles, and emigration also play a part in explaining the evolving patterns of living arrangements.