Senior Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo (Source: straitstimes.com)
Singapore (VNA) – Singapore’s total fertility rate (TFR) fell from 1.24 to 1.20 in 2016, nearly equal to the lowest level of 1.16 in 2010.

TFR measures the average number of babies born per woman.

Senior Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo, who is in charge of population matters, said more people got married last year in the child-bearing age range of 25-39. However, the country’s birth rate has yet to improve, she noted.

Statistics indicated that 33,161 babies were born in Singapore in 2016, about 600 fewer than the previous year, pulling down the TFR to 1.20. Meanwhile, the replacement rate for Singapore’s population is 2.1 percent, and the country’s birth rate has been lower than the mortality rate for the past 30 years.

This means Singapore still needs overseas workers to hit its economic growth targets.

Teo said to tackle with the low birth rate and mitigate the impact of an aging population, the government will implement policies encouraging couples to have babies.

In March 2017, Singapore will announce measures supporting locals with accommodation, jobs, and education so that married couples can have children while pursuing their career, she added.-VNA