SINGAPORE: The number of babies born to Singaporean parents last year is at its lowest since 2014, according to the annual Population in Brief report released by the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group on Thursday (Sep 27).
There were 32,356 babies born to at least one citizen parent last year, compared to 33,167 in 2016. The average for the past decade is about 32,200.
The resident total fertility rate fell from 1.2 in 2016 to 1.16 in 2017.
"This is due partly to a larger cohort of young Singaporeans (aged 19 to 29 in 2017) – many of whom are children of baby boomers – who are entering the peak childbearing ages, but have not yet had children," said the report.
The median age of Singaporean mothers giving birth for the first time has remained at 30.3 for the past four years. It was 29.4 in 2007.
Meanwhile, the proportion of Singaporean women, aged between 30 and 39, who are or have been married but are without children also remained stable at 22.6 in 2017 and 2016.
For Singaporean women aged between 40 and 49, the figure dipped slightly from 11.2 in 2016 to 10.9 in 2017.
NUMBER OF MARRIAGES HIGHEST IN 10 YEARS
There were 24,417 citizen marriages in 2017 - the highest in 10 years and more than the 23,873 in 2016, according to the report.
Citizen marriages refers to those involving at least one Singaporean.
The median age at first marriage in 2017 was 29.8 years for citizen grooms and 28.1 years for citizen brides, similar to the previous five years, noted the report.
The report added that more than one in three citizen marriages last year were transnational, meaning it involved one Singaporean and one non-Singaporean.
There has been a steady increase in inter-ethnic marriages over the past decade, with about one in five citizen marriages being between people of different races.
The proportion of singles among Singaporeans across most age groups has increased compared to 10 years ago, the report noted.
The biggest increase was among Singaporean women aged 25 to 29 – seven in 10 in this group were single in 2017 compared to six in 10 in 2007. For men in this age group, about eight in 10 were single last year.
Singapore’s total population grew slightly by 0.5 per cent over the past year to 5.64 million as of June 2018. Non-resident population remained relatively stable at 1.64 million, said the report.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that the number of Singaporean babies born in 2017 is the lowest in three years. The number is in fact the lowest since 2014.