S’pore’s total fertility rate falls below 1 in 2023, hits all-time low record

S'pore's total fertility rate falls below 1 in 2023, hits all-time low record

Singapore’s total fertility rate in 2023 hits record low at 0.97

Singapore’s total fertility rate dipped to 0.97 in 2023 — the first time it has fallen below 1.

fertility rate 2023

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In parliament today (28 Feb), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Indranee Rajah highlighted that the figure makes Singapore one of the countries with the lowest birth rates, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

She also mentioned that the government is exploring ideas to enhance support for couples’ parenthood and marriage plans.

Reasons for all-time low fertility rate

Ms Indranee raised possible reasons that could explain the all-time low fertility rate.

Amongst these was the Covid-19 pandemic, which put a pause on several couples’ aspirations for marriage and parenthood.

fertility rate 2023

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Moreover, there are challenges such as the costs of bringing up a child, as well as balancing work and family duties.

She added that there is a rise in sandwiched couples who have to take care of their children and their parents.

Notably, she mentioned that the decline in fertility rates indicates a shift in priorities for the current generation.

Some couples today may not be interested in attaining milestones like marriage or parenthood.

Government is actively exploring ways to improve support for couples

Ms Indranee emphasised that the decline in fertility rate has “serious implications” for the future of Singapore, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reported.

Hence, the government is actively considering ways to enhance marriage and parenthood support for couples.

For example, they are exploring methods to raise paid parental leave.

Additionally, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has been increasing child-minding services and infant care capacities.

This comes in light of feedback from parents that a child requires the most care during the first 18 months.

During Budget this year, it was also announced that there will be a S$40 reduction in childcare fee caps in anchor and partner operator preschools.

Moreover, the government is also looking at offering flexible work arrangements so that parents can balance their family and work duties more efficiently.

Singapore’s fertility rate was 1.05 in 2022, which was the previous historic low before 2023’s figure.

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