Singapore population report: More than 33,000 babies in 2014

A newborn baby in a hospital. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - A total of 33,193 babies were born in Singapore in 2014.

This is a decade high that matches the benchmark number set in 2012, the dragon year, according to the Population In Brief 2015 Singapore report.

In 2013, about 31,000 babies were born.

The slight increase in 2014 means the total fertility rate (TFR) last year was 1.25 compared to 1.19 in 2013. The TFR has hovered around this figure for the past decade.

The replacement rate for Singapore is 2.1 per cent.

The breakdown of TFR by ethnic group shows a small increase for the Chinese, from 1.05 in 2013 to 1.13 last year. Similarly for the Malay community, from 1.66 in 2013 to 1.73 last year. The Indian community also registered a slight uptick from 1.11 in 2013 to 1.13 last year.

The median age for Singaporean mothers at first birth has remained stable, from 30.2 in 2013 to 30.3 last year.

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Singapore's total population grew by some 1.2 per cent from 5.47 million in June last year to 5.54 million as of June this year. There were increases in the number of citizen marriages, fertility rates and the number of Singaporean births, but the number of working citizens for every Singaporeans aged 65 and above declined.

The report also noted that married couples are having fewer children, especially those in the younger age groups because of later marriages. And the average number of children born to ever-married females aged 30 to 49 has declined in the last decade. In 2004, the average number of children born to women aged 40 to 49 was 2.15. Last year, the average number was 1.93.

The declining birth rate has been in the news this year, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announcing a slew of measures in his National Day Rally speech in August to encourage Singaporeans to have more babies.

The pro-family policies included a Proximity Housing Grant for married Singaporean couples, an increased Baby Bonus cash gift of $2,000 and doubling paternity leave to two weeks.

Related links:

2014 saw most number of marriages since 1997

Singaporeans aged 65 and older form 13.1 per cent of citizen population as society continues to age

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