Economic uncertainties could damage Singapore's healthy birthrate, sociologists have warned.
Changing demographics -- illustrated in more residents of the city state becoming middle class -- and changing attitudes towards parenthood also play a role in depressing birthrate along with a pessimistic economic outlook, according to the experts.
Would-be parents are unsure if they would be able to give the best to their children in the gloomy economic scenario, and that does not "augur well for our fertility situation," University of Singapore (NUS) sociologist Tan Ern Ser said, Today reported.
"My own sense is that as more Singaporeans become middle class, and with the current pessimistic economic outlook, there will be more married couples concerned about not being able to provide the best opportunities, which include both time and resources, for their children, so that their children can do well in future," Tan added.
Another NUS official said baby bonuses and monetary incentives might help reverse the situation.
Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Josephine Teo said last month the government was considering better parental incentives and more investment in affordable quality childcare to boost birthrate.
As many as 33,793 babies were born in Singapore, which has a population of 5.5 million, last year, which was the highest in a decade.
According to a report by the Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths, the drop in birth rate was the severest among ethnic Chinese in Singapore.
In 2014, Malays registered the highest birth rate of 12.4 per 1,000 residents followed by Indians at 10.8 per 1,000 residents. Chinese registered the lowest rate of 8.8 per 1,000 residents.
The government white paper released in 2013 had warned slow population growth due to chronically low birth rate will have to be offset by adding more foreign workers.