Singapore. Singapore’s fertility rate dropped to a record low last year, official statistics showed Wednesday, leaving the city–state still dependent on immigrants to sustain its working population levels.
Singapore’s resident fertility rate declined to 1.15 last year, down from the previous low of 1.22 in 2009, the Singapore Statistics department said in its population report.
The rate was even lower, at 1.02, for the dominant ethnic Chinese population, said the report.
The figures represent the average number of live–births each female would have during her reproductive years, given the birth rates recorded during the given time frame.
Singapore has struggled to boost low birth rates for years, but has so far not come close to the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman.
Singapore leaders have repeatedly said the city–state had to continue bringing in foreigners to address demographic challenges and keep its economy going.
The influx of foreigners has become a concern amid increasing competition for housing and jobs, despite assurances that the government will put Singaporeans first.
The island’s population stood at 5.18 million through June, with 3.8 million citizens and 1.4 million non–resident foreigners, the report said.
Of the permanent residents, ethnic Chinese formed the majority at 74 per cent, followed by Malays with 13 per cent and Indians with 9.2 percent, it said.