Singapore Witnesses Historic Dip in Fertility Rate to 0.97

Singapore’s total fertility rate has hit a new low, dropping below 1.0 for the first time, with the latest figures showing a rate of 0.97 in 2023. This decrease from the previous rates of 1.05 in 2022 and 1.12 in 2021 signals a continuing trend of declining births in the nation. Minister Indranee Rajah highlighted various factors contributing to this decline, including the impact of COVID-19 on marriage and parenthood plans, as well as financial concerns and challenges in balancing work and family commitments.

The Singaporean government is actively looking into enhancing support for families, such as increasing paid parental leave and engaging with partners to implement further enhancements gradually. Special attention is being given to the care needs of children in their first 18 months, with plans to expand infant care capacity and introduce childminding services as additional care options.

To address concerns over the costs of child-raising, the Ministry of Social and Family Development will lower childcare fees in certain preschools by S$40 in 2025. The government also plans to mandate additional paternity leave to support fathers, alongside exploring sustainable ways like flexible work arrangements to assist parents in managing work and family life.


Immigration policies also play a crucial role in addressing the impacts of low birth rates and ageing on the economy and society. In 2023, Singapore granted new citizenships to about 23,500 individuals, including children born overseas to Singaporean parents, and issued 34,500 new permanent residencies. These measures aim to moderate demographic trends and support Singapore’s future population needs, particularly in sectors like healthcare.

Singapore’s low fertility rate mirrors a global phenomenon, with advanced societies worldwide experiencing declining fertility rates. This shift in individual priorities and societal norms has led to smaller families, more single Singaporeans, and a potential impact on the economy due to a shrinking workforce. The government is determined to tackle this challenge, emphasizing the importance of a whole-of-society effort to build a family-friendly culture and maintain Singapore’s vibrancy and dynamism for future generations.

author avatar
Staff Report

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use