ANN/THE STAR – Singapore’s fertility rate fell to 1.05 babies per woman last year, the lowest on record based on data from the country’s Department of Statistics dating back more than six decades.
“This was partly due to the Tiger year in the Lunar calendar, which is generally associated with lower births among the Chinese,” local broadcaster CNA quoted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah saying in Parliament on Friday.
Total live births fell by 7.6 per cent from 2021, when fertility had experienced a brief rebound as the pandemic subsided.
The rate of babies per female has now dropped for seven out of the last 10 years in the city-state and is well below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1 births per woman.
Fertility has long been an issue for developed nations across the world.
South Korea holds the world’s lowest fertility rate at 0.78. Singapore, like many of its Asian peers, have sought with mixed success to arrest the decline through measures like giving one-off cash gifts to those who have children.
It announced in its recent annual budget that it will boost the so-called baby bonus and double paternity leave to four weeks.