Marriage and parenthood policies by the government will be reviewed with the aim to help Singaporeans in getting married and having children, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced on Thursday.
Speaking at a conference at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Teo said he asked the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) to do the review, which he said would help government address declining birth rates and an ageing population in Singapore.
In an occasional paper released on Thursday, NPTD highlighted that the total fertility rate (TFR) in Singapore is on a decline as more are staying single or getting married later, and married couples are having their first child later and having fewer children.
In 2011, the rate was 1.2, far below the 2.1 replacement rate typical of industrialized countries.
The proportion of singles increased across all groups between 2000 and 2011. In the 30 to 34 years old group, singlehood in males increased from 33 to 44 percent while singlehood in females increased from 22 to 31 per cent.
The median ages of citizens at first marriage also risen from 28.5 to 30.1 for grooms and 26.1 to 27.8 for brides.
Government support for marriage and parenthood is seen as key in arresting the further decline of the fertility rate.
According to the paper, the implementation of the government’s Marriage and Parenthood package benefitted families of about 350,000 children.