SINGAPORE: There was a nearly 8 per cent decrease in the country’s birth rate last year, the figures released by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) show. In 2021, there were 38,672 births, while last year, there were 35,605, for a drop of 7.9 per cent.
Additionally, Singapore saw the largest yearly deaths since 1960 last year.
While 24,292 deaths were recorded in 2021, deaths rose by 10.7 per cent last year to 26,891.
Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao reported that this is the largest number of annual deaths since 1960.
There has also been a change in the median age of first-time mothers in Singapore. While in 2018 it was 30.6, by 2022, it had risen to 31.9.
However, the number of first-time mothers with degrees from university also went up in 2022 and is now at 63.6 per cent, while in 2017, it was at 58 per cent.
A Statista table of the crude birth rates in Singapore from 2013 to 2022 shows that there were 7.9 births per 1,000 population in Singapore last year, the lowest number for that period.
In that decade, a record-high 9.8 births per 1,000 population occurred in 2014.
“Singapore has been facing declining birth rates and decreasing fertility rates in recent years,” Statista noted.
Singapore’s Total Fertility Rate TFR for 2022 also hit a historic low of 1.05 births per woman. In 2020 and 2021, it was at 1.1 and 1.12, respectively.
Studies have shown that a total fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman is needed to ensure a broadly stable population.
National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser was quoted in The Straits Times on Monday (July 3) saying that the cost of raising children at an increasingly Vuca (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) time has risen. And that more resources are needed for raising children is a factor couples consider in planning their families.
“Other oft-cited factors are the rise of dual income households, in part to make enough to maintain a middle-class lifestyle; women’s late marriages; priorities given to career; and in turn the lack of work-life harmony in jobs which emphasise deliverables,” ST quotes Dr Tan as saying. /TISG