DEPUTY Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said today that with the enhanced $2 billion Marriage and Parenthood package, the Government hopes to move the total fertility rate up to 1.4 or 1.5
Current estimates put the TFR for last year at 1.28 to 1.3, what he called a "mini dragon year effect." In 2011, the TFR was 1.2.
Noting that TFRs in many parts of East Asia are languishing at similarly low levels, he said at a press conference today that reaching a TFR of 1.4 or 1.5 would mean that "we have done quite well."
"And we hope that in the longer term, of course that we can get up to 2.1. But looking at the environment and what other countries and cities are facing, that really is a work-in-progress which will require a long time," he said.
A TFR of 2.1 would mean citizens are replacing themselves.
Mr Teo also emphasised that the "core and most fundamental thing" that the Government wants to do in population policy is to encourage Singaporeans to marry and have children."
"Singaporeans are the core of society and the best and the most fundamental way to build a stronger Singaporean core is to encourage marriage and parenthood," he said.
"Everything we do builds around this," he said. "The Marriage and Parenthood package is the first (and) the most fundamental component of the population road map that we will be presenting."