In PM Lee’s CNY message he shared that Singapore’s fertility rate went up slightly last year, from a historical low of 1.15 in 2010 to 1.20 in 2011.
He said: “One important intangible factor that influences couples is their confidence in the future of the country and of the next generation.
“Parents want the peace of mind that their children will grow up in a safe and stable environment. They want to be sure that their children will inherit a better Singapore than the one they themselves knew.”
Pointing out that the Dragon Year is historically a year in which some Chinese families prefer having children, he said: “I fervently hope that this year will be a big Dragon year for babies.”
He said it is crucial to preserve a Singapore core in society:
“We do not want to rely more and more heavily on immigration, nor do we want to see our population shrinking year by year”.
The Straits Times reported that the TFR rate is below the replacement level of 2.1 despite government steps to encourage couples to have more children.