SINGAPORE: Fewer babies were born to Singaporeans last year compared to 2015, but the number was still higher than the average for the past 10 years, according to the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD)'s annual Population in Brief report.
There were 33,167 children born to at least one citizen parent last year, compared to 33,725 in 2015. The average for the past decade was about 32,200.
The total fertility rate also fell slightly from 1.24 in 2015 to 1.2 in 2016. This was partly due to a larger cohort of young Singaporeans aged 18 to 28 - many of them children of baby boomers - who are entering the peak childbearing ages but might not have started having children yet, NPTD said in its report.
The median age of Singaporean mothers giving birth for the first time has remained at 30.3 years for the last three years, it added.
The report noted that couples who marry earlier tend to have more children. For example, among Singaporean women born between 1965 to 1970, those who married at age 25 had nearly two children on average by age 45, while those who married at age 35 had about one child on average.
SLIGHT INCREASE IN MARRIAGES
According to the report, there were 23,873 citizen marriages in 2016, referring to those involving at least one Singaporean. This is a slight increase from 23,805 marriages in 2015 and higher than the average of 22,200 for the past decade.
More than one-third of these marriages in 2016 were transnational marriages, involving a Singaporean and a non-Singaporean, while two in 10 were inter-ethnic. These figures are similar to that in 2015.
The median age for first marriages last year was 30 years for Singaporean grooms and 28 years for Singaporean brides, similar to the preceding two years, NPTD said.