Number of babies born in Singapore falls to lowest in 8 years

Number of babies born in Singapore falls to lowest in 8 years

baby infant child newborn hand holding illustration
File photo of an infant holding her mothers' hand. (Photo: AFP/Philippe Huguen)

SINGAPORE: The number of babies born in Singapore fell to its lowest in eight years in 2018, according to data released by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).  

A total of 39,039 babies were born last year, a 1.5 per cent drop from 2017, said the annual report published in June.

This was also the lowest number of births since 2010 when 37,967 births were recorded.

Within the eight-year period, the highest number of births was recorded in the year of the dragon, in 2012, with 42,663 births.

Singapore's fertility rate last year is 1.14, according to Singapore's Department of Statistics (SingStat), compared to 1.16 in 2017.

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In the report, ICA said that women seem to be "delaying the birth of children till a later age".

"The median age of mothers showed increases across the first, second and third-order births when compared against 2009," said ICA.

Last year, the median age for first-time mothers was 30.6, compared to 29.7 in 2009.

Resident birth order by period, median age of mother
(Graph: ICA) 

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The report also showed that while the birth rate among Malays is on the rise, it was declining for other ethnic groups.

In 2018, Malays registered the highest birth rate of 14.1 per 1,000 residents, followed by Indians at 9.2, and Chinese at 7.5.

Birth rate by ethnic group
(Graph: ICA) 
 

LOWEST NUMBER OF TEENAGE BIRTHS IN MORE THAN A DECADE

Last year’s statistics also showed that the number of babies born to teenagers aged 19 and below was the lowest in more than a decade.

A total of 289 babies were born last year to teenage mothers, which is a 6.8 per cent reduction from 2017.

In 2009, there were 678 babies born of teenage pregnancies.

There were also four babies born to teens under the age of 15 last year, showed the report. 

Meanwhile, women aged 50 and above gave birth to six babies in 2018, and a further 84 babies were born to women between the age range of 45 and 49.

CANCER TOP CAUSE OF DEATH

A total of 21,282 deaths were registered last year, a 1.8 per cent increase from 2017. 

ICA said that that the two most common causes of death in Singapore were "malignant neoplasm", or cancerous tumours, and heart and hypertensive diseases.

Such conditions made up more than half of total deaths last year. 

The report also showed that the median age at death has been gradually lengthening over the years.

Last year, the median age of death was 76.7, compared to 73.9 years old in 2009.

Unnatural causes such as accidents, suicides and other external causes made up 4.3 per cent of deaths. 

Source: CNA/ad(hm)

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