Recent studies in Singapore reveal that there has been a slight dip in the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in 2016 after previous year's skyrocketing numbers. The rate was 1.20 last year, which is a few notches lower than 2015's count of 1.24 - the highest rate recorded in over a decade, said Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Josephine Teo on Friday.
"We have a relatively large cohort of young Singaporeans that are now entering into their peak child-bearing ages of 25-39. But many have not yet started having children," she said, as reported.
The minister, who is in charge of population matters, said that though there were 23,873 marriages last year with at least one Singaporean spouse - the second-highest annual figure since 1998, only 33,161 babies were born, which is 600 fewer than 2015. "While the impression is that Singaporeans are marrying later, in fact, the median age of first marriage has been stable since 2011, at 28 years for Singaporean brides and 30 years for Singaporean grooms," said Teo, adding that the dip is mainly due to a demographic transition, where relatively young Singaporeans have not started having children.
The minister also encouraged millennial Singaporeans to pursue their aspirations for a family while striving for other meaningful goals. "On our part, the Government will continue to focus on getting our whole society ready for millennial families. We need bold collective actions in the areas of housing, pre-school services, workplace and community support," said Teo, as reported.
"We need bold collective actions in the areas of housing, pre-school services, workplace and community support. Together, let's try and give our millennials the confidence that marriage and parenthood are achievable, enjoyable and celebrated," she added.
Earlier, Teo said that the millennials are 'gung-ho' as they aspire to have kids and build up careers at the same time. "This generation must think differently. They are the new pioneers," she said.