SINGAPORE - The total fertility rate (TFR) in Singapore grew for a second consecutive year, and some population experts believe there is scope for it to improve as more people got hitched and the economy is not doing badly.
The TFR last year rose to 1.29 from 1.2 in 2011, according to a population report released yesterday by the National Population and Talent Division. In 2010, the TFR was 1.15. The replacement rate is 2.1.
There were 38,641 resident live births last year - or births with at least one parent who is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident (PR) - the highest in the past 11 years.
But Singapore's population grew at its slowest rate in the past nine years, said the report. In the 12 months leading up to June, the population increased by 1.6 per cent to 5.4 million.
Dr Kang Soon-Hock, head of the Social Science Core at SIM University, was optimistic that the TFR would continue to rise.
"The current increase in TFR has occurred in tandem with an observed increase in the number of marriages," Dr Kang said.
Based on figures from the Department of Statistics, the number of civil and Muslim marriages registered last year was 27,936, a 2.5 per cent increase from 2011. In 2011, there were 27,258 marriages, an 11.9 per cent jump from the previous year.