Singapore’s total fertility rate falls to historic low in 2020

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore’s total fertility rate (TFR) fell to a historic low of 1.1 last year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Indranee Rajah on Friday.

She said that the COVID-19 pandemic caused some Singaporeans to postpone their marriage, resulting in about 10 per cent fewer marriages last year than in 2019. Others have delayed their parenthood plans, she added.

Indranee, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division under the PMO, was speaking in Parliament during the Committee of Supply debate.

East Asian societies like South Korea, and Scandinavian countries known for achieving good fertility outcomes like Finland and Norway also experienced a drop in TFR, she noted.

“Raising fertility is an uphill task for advanced societies, but we must continue to support those who wish to marry and have children,” said Indranee, who is also Second Minister for Finance and for National Development.

She announced during the debate that the government will increase its dollar-for-dollar matching in the Child Development Account for a second child from SGD3,000 to SGD6,000.

Babies sleep in a hospital. PHOTO: AFP