Baby bust – survey

Singapore’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for our resident population (citizens and Permanent Residents) was 1.20 in 2011, said a document released June 2012 by the National Population and Talent Division.  “The last time that the TFR of the resident population . . . was above the replacement level of 2.1 was in 1976.”

Clearly, our population bust is a serious issue.

The proportion of singles has increased across all age groups between 2000 and 2011, the document said. Among citizens aged 30-34 years, singlehood rates increased from 33% to 44% for males, and from 22% to 31% for females.

Looking internationally, it notes a similar pattern in East Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, with similarly dismal TFRs. However, in the case of some Western countries, while the marriage rates are also low, TFRs are higher than Singapore’s. Sweden has a TFR of 1.90 while Denmark’s is 1.76. Speaking not only of these two countries but of several more Western countries as well, the document notes: “the main difference is that these societies have more children born outside of marriage, ranging from 30% to more than 50%, compared to 1.5% – 2.0% in East Asian societies.”

Yet, after that discussion, the document concludes by insisting that marriage has to remain the key to Singapore’s solution: “Encouraging marriage and parenthood is a key Government priority to address the population challenge.” (emphasis mine).

Perhaps it’s time to ask some out-of-the-box questions. Why do we assume that parenting outside of marriage (as defined by Singapore law) is unthinkable in the Singapore context?

So, here’s a short survey (click the image) – only 14 multiple choice questions that can be completed in less than 2 minutes. It won’t be representative, of course, and knowing my readership, I will be tapping the middle-class, liberal-minded segment of Singaporeans. Nonetheless, I’d like to see whether single-parenthood is as “completely out of the question!” as is made out to be, even within this segment of our society. Maybe it is. The answer should be evident within a just a few hundred responses.

I will write up the findings a week later.

51 Responses to “Baby bust – survey”


  1. 1 Eric's 10 July 2012 at 20:44

    So, not a pragmatic response to this particular problem then. What are the adoption rates like from unwanted pregnancies?

  2. 2 Lai Yeu Huan 10 July 2012 at 20:49

    I think the government is drawing the wrong conclusions from the statistics of unmarried parenthood in the European countries. And I suspect they are diverting the discussion this way on purpose, to prove that they, the government are right yet again, and know what is best for Singapore.

    It is wrong infer that because there are more unmarried parents Europe, acceptance of single parenthood LEADs to a higher birth rate. I contend that the prevalence of unmarried parents can only be read to mean that European society accepts unmarried parents, nothing more.

    Take a situation where a couple is contemplating having children. In Singapore, they get married. In Europe, marriage is optional. Marriage in itself is no significant impediment to parenthood in Singapore. At its simplest, marriage involves just a visit to the ROM.

    However, common to the two countries, the parents-to-be must think about a whole host of economical, social, lifestyle and educational considerations before deciding to have a baby. In these considerations (and the differences between the two countries) lie the answer to why some European countries have a higher birth rate than Singapore.

    I have had this discussion with numerous friends and it surprises me greatly how many of them tend not to think logically about the government’s arguments. And hence the considerable success seen in the government being able to distract the argument into what is really an inconsequential side-alley (as they tend to do).

    • 3 Lai Yeu Huan 10 July 2012 at 20:58

      To clarify, I think the data from Europe suggests the prevalence of unmarried couples who are parents, not the prevalence of single persons having children. This appears to be borne out in the European literature I have read on this issue. May not be the best source… but for example, see here http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0417/p01s03-woeu.html

      • 5 twasher 11 July 2012 at 00:38

        I don’t think the government is drawing that conclusion you claim. I think they are also against unmarried couples having children. There’s a paragraph in the report where they say they do not want to upset traditional social norms. One of these norms is that if you want to live together or raise a child together, you ought to get married first.

        The government’s unwillingness to consider the bearing of children outside marriage is is a serious impediment, especially for women. Singapore is still a patriarchical society, so marriage is an arrangement that is more favourable to the man than the woman. Most Singaporean men are still not ready for domestic partnerships that are equal. This is plausibly what accounts for increasingly low marriage rates throughout East Asia. Educated East Asian women are increasingly less willing to enter unequal partnerships that are a legacy of (among other things) Confucian values.

    • 6 Chow 11 July 2012 at 09:10

      I will add that the focus on traditional/mainstream values (whatever that may mean) could be a relatively accurate reading of what the general feel is among those who can vote. My friend, who must have read the same report Alex read, remarked that he wasnt sure that that was the way ‘we’ wanted to go.

      Of course my experience is purely anecdotal to date but it was more common than I thought and it surprised me that there were that many people I know who did think that way (which is very silly of me).

  3. 7 kermit 10 July 2012 at 21:49

    Singapore home prices are the highest in the world – young couples cannot afford to have babies. Singapore is the only country in the world where retirement savings (CPF) are used to inflate home prices beyond the reach of young couples. Before 1993 when home prices soared – due to CPF liberalisation for homes – Singapore’s birth rate was high.

    • 8 Anon 2d48 12 July 2012 at 00:21

      Living with one’s parents/ in-laws is in fact quite advantageous when raising a child/ children. My brother and his wife lived on their own for a year or 2 but moved back home with my parents when they had a kid. I don’t get the excuse that because flats are expensive hence people can’t get married and have kids.

    • 9 Anon R3yu 12 July 2012 at 16:45

      I agree with kermit. Unaffordable home prices is the biggest factor when couples decide home many kids they can afford to raise. Singaporeans who plan their finances responsibly will take this into consideration when planning a family.

      It is not just about whether your in laws or your parents can help out to look after the kids, but also about whether you have space for them to grow.

  4. 10 Ian 10 July 2012 at 22:49

    Perhaps you could do an article about single parents and their influence to children?

    I have this belief that single parents are inferior to married parents could be due to the fact that most single parents suffer stigma or are from parents’ divorce, which will negatively influence the kids.

    • 11 Chow 11 July 2012 at 09:19

      Speaking purely without data I would suspect a weakened social support structure in the sense that grandparents, siblings, or relatives are less able to help with bringing up the child. The odds that a single parent is making sufficient is rather low. I would like to think that there is probably a much greater weight to be given to ‘insufficient resources’ in all its forms social inequality and the glass ceiling being a couple of them.

      Off topic I find the concept of “single parent = bad” and neo-Confucianistic stuff a rather silly thing. What if the other half dies? And if it’s the father who dies, a Confucian (or patriarchical) system typically demands that the widow remain single the rest of her life just to maintain the blood purity I guess. So on one hand you have “get married to have kids because it’s best!” and on the other there’s that thankfully antiquated concept of remaining faithful to the husband. Just venting a bit here.

      • 12 Anon 0av8 11 July 2012 at 12:33

        @ Chow

        You yourself has sort of answered why single parent = “bad”, for the simple fact that single parents are unlikely to have as much resources as 2-parent families, and are unable to devote as much attention to the child as well.

        Obviously there’s a social stigma to single-parent families in Sg, and I do personally think that the cultural side of the issue should have no relevance anyway. But the more fundamental issue as just not having as much resources in terms of finance and time/attention for single parents to be just a really obvious drawback that is hard to argue against.

        Having said that though, in my mind the line goes like this: 2-parents pwn single parent pwn orphanage……

    • 13 OldSingaporean 11 July 2012 at 14:39

      Ian, which would you choose, a single but good parents or a couple of bad parents? I know I will choose the former over the latter.

      • 14 Ian 11 July 2012 at 16:05

        Good single parent =/= bad married parents. Trying to compare them is like comparing apples and oranges.

        So, which would you choose? Good single parent or good married parents? i’d choose the latter.

    • 15 SN 11 July 2012 at 23:11

      “So, which would you choose? Good single parent or good married parents? i’d choose the latter.”

      Dear Ian,

      Would you care to elaborate? This is a genuine question.

      Thanks.

      • 16 Ian 12 July 2012 at 00:14

        Ah… i think i have ignored parents that are currently cohabiting.

        I chose 2 good parents(married or not, that’s entirely another case), they are able to provide more attention(you have 2 parents, everything doubles). That’s pretty much it for me.

        If my answer doesn’t answer to your question, please tell me what you want to know exactly. I went ‘elaborate what?’ when i saw your comment.

        Thanks.

      • 17 SN 12 July 2012 at 12:21

        Hi Ian,

        You answered my question, thanks.

        I asked because I am struggling against the predominant view in this thread that good parenting is synonymous with the ability to give or do more. So, the idea is that more resources will result in a child better raised.

        I wonder if this is a false and even unhealthy view – think helicopter parenting and the overwhelming attention the child receives from his or her parent(s), because more attention is better than less.

        My sense is that good parenting is about doing enough. There is talk about doing more today because many of us do not do enough. In other words, needing to do more does not mean that more is always merrier.

        If my view of things is correct, then two parents need not mean that they are better than a single parent in the sense that you give it.

        Regards.

      • 18 Ian 12 July 2012 at 20:18

        True that having helis as parents are bad. But i was talking more on how much attention 2 parents can give, if you have a single parent, you can only give this much attention at most, while having 2 parents you get double that amount.

        E.g. This particular child requires 60 units of attention(fictional units). A parent can only provide 50. That means that this child would not be ‘statisfied’ with the attention his single parent is able to give whereas if its 2 parents, they are able to provide up to a 100 units of attention. Thus can easily cater to the his/her’s needs.

        Determining how much attention a child requires is part and parcel of good parenting, too much becomes overbearing and too little becomes distant. I think i covered that under ‘good’ in the options i gave.

  5. 19 Eugene 11 July 2012 at 00:39

    I think that it’s the general feeling that bearing children in Singapore exerts a significant toll on the parents’ finances, coupled with an unfriendly work-life balance culture and the various policies which might actually hinder marriage/ rearing children (HDB BTO, whether pregnant women can keep their jobs) in Singapore and possibly other East Asian countries you cited, that we see such a situation.

    While I am open to the idea of single parenthood, I don’t think it’s a crucial issue when evaluating why we have such low birth rates for years.

    • 20 yawningbread 11 July 2012 at 02:03

      It is no doubt a widely held view that financial pressures are perhaps the greatest impediment to choosing to raise a child, but that is not what this survey is about.

      This survey is about parenting by unmarried persons. Don’t dismiss this as “beside the point” because of the afore-mentioned financial pressures. Not everybody has problems making ends meet. A good number of Singaporeans can afford to have 2, 3 or even 4 children. Assuming we’re looking at unmarried persons who are financially comfortable, but who for whatever reason don’t want to get married (e.g. twasher’s comment re patriarchal systems and how marriage is unfavourable to women) what are your views about them having children?

      • 21 Eugene 11 July 2012 at 03:01

        I get the point of your survey (and have completed it too). I am fine with unmarried couples having children though I recognize our prevailing societal norms as being against such a notion (or maybe not since that’s what your survey is trying to find out).

      • 22 kermit 11 July 2012 at 07:48

        Unmarried parents in other countries do not have to worry about high home prices

  6. 23 Lai Yeu Huan 11 July 2012 at 06:52

    Sure, it’s useful to survey for views on unmarried parenthood per se (my submission is in).

    I really wonder though, the number of cases where an unmarried couple decides: we have no money issues, and having a baby sound like a good idea. But… society expects us to get married. And THAT’s an issue. Because of whatever reason (unwillingness to get tied down, unwillingness to form a traditional family unit, etc.).

    Perhaps if someone can give another example, I’d see it better. But at the moment, it still appears to be a rare thing.

  7. 24 tocqueville 11 July 2012 at 08:04

    The baby problem has little to do with marriage. Couples now co-habit for years before they marry and they still don’t have babies before marriage for the same reasons.

    The reason is not life-style or jobs or feminine liberation. It is money, money, money.

    Consider that the median income is $3,000 per month (median means 50% earn below that). Pre-natal and delivery costs for a baby is upwards of $10,000. Four years of child-care and kindergarten cost at least $10,000 annually, as much as unversity fees, while primary and secondary education is virtually free.

    Baby schemes so far have had little effect as they were in dribs and drabs with some money credited to CPF accounts, where you cannot see, feel or touch the money.

    A bold step would be for the state to pay for pre-natal and delivery charges and nationalise the child-care and kindergarten industry (it’s a profit-making business now) and make it a public good paid out of general taxation like primary and secondary education.

    It would cost money but it will not bust the budget and it could be financed by running smaller surpluses or lifting taxes a little.

    The alternative is to continue importing fully-grown bodies from obscure, Stygian provinces in India and China who bring with them all sorts of primitive cultural and social habits which are causing all the angst.

    • 25 twasher 11 July 2012 at 12:46

      Do you have any evidence that it is common for Singaporeans to co-habit for years before marrying? My impression from anecdotes that this is a rare practice and still frowned upon by many people.

      • 26 Goop 11 July 2012 at 17:13

        I’m cohabiting with my girlfriend. Both of us are Singaporeans in our late 20’s. I also have friends who do the same working in the same industry (Creative and media industry). Typically, they rent an entire apartment with 2 other friends and the couple stays in the master bedroom.

        However, I can’t say that this is common. Perhaps me and my group of friends are the rare ones you speak about and we frankly don’t care if some ah kong ah ma form part of the “many people” who frown upon this.

      • 27 tocqueville 12 July 2012 at 07:37

        By co-habiting I don’t necessarily mean unmarried couples setting up homes together without getting married like in the West. I mean it’s common for courting couples to copulate for years before getting married. We’re talking about making babies.

      • 28 twasher 12 July 2012 at 22:16

        1) You are using co-habiting in a non-standard sense.

        2) People who copulate before marriage in Singapore usually do so without the intention of having babies. Very few people in Singapore want to have babies before marriage because of social stigma against unmarried parents and government discrimination against unmarried parents. The contrast some of us were making above is with Scandinavian countries where many people copulate before marriage with the intention of having babies, and do have babies. They are willing to do so because society supports such an arrangement, both financially and culturally.

        As I’ve said elsewhere in the comments here, of course money etc. are reasons for the low birth rate, but that doesn’t mean that social norms about marriage isn’t also a reason.

    • 29 twasher 11 July 2012 at 12:48

      Rates of marriage have also been decreasing and this contributes to the low birth rate given the norm of having to marry before reproducing. I’m suggesting that the component of the low birth rate due to lower marriage rates is related to issues of gender equity. Of course, financial issues are also important.

  8. 30 yuen 11 July 2012 at 08:24

    >good number of Singaporeans can afford to have 2, 3 or even 4 children.

    I think you underestimate the cost of having more children: larger apartments hence bigger mortgages, home tuition fees, overseas travel, laptops, iPhones… in middle class families, these are no longer luxuries but necessities, and the costs add up very quickly

    • 31 Daniel Lee 11 July 2012 at 12:58

      Somewhat disagree. Some of the ‘necessarities’ are still considered luxuries brought about due to higher expectations. i.e: many school kids wearing branded footwear instead of Bata’s BM2000.

  9. 32 ricardo 11 July 2012 at 08:26

    I was taken aback when DPM Teo implied he equates having children out of wedlock with less disparity between rich & poor.

    Granted, this was his knee jerk reaction but it seems to exemplify PAP thinking and morality on the issue.

    I suggested that if this is a universal cure for poverty, it should be made official policy immediately!

    the PAP and the Rich / Poor Divide

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/richard-lee/the-pap-and-the-rich-poor-divide/3809274425591

    I had a much more fruitful discussion with Mr. Shanmugam.
    Elites, Social Mobility & the Cost of Education

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=4047937232012

    These issues are very pertinent to the subject.

    – The cost of raising children is probably the biggest expense one incurs over one’s life; understandably as this is our biological function.
    – Education is a huge component of this cost (perceived or not) especially in Singapore.

    – Some societal expectations have changed eg about marriage, while others, eg wanting the best for your children, haven’t.

    – The PAP hasn’t woken up to these changes and still has in place policies that disadvantage and penalise children born out of wedlock and their parents.

    RESULT : declining fertility rate cos the PAP believe children born out of wedlock might reduce our GINI index. … 8>D

  10. 33 Will 11 July 2012 at 09:14

    I had acually brought up this issue with a couple of unmarried, financially responsible female friends 15 years then when they were in their 30s. I was of the opinion that they should consider IVF or other means for child bearing when they could not settle for a life partner. Of course all these were laughed down but they actually kind of regretted not thinking about it. I still support this alternative thinking, not just to make up the S’porean numbers but an option for those who cannot settle for the perfect one.

    • 34 yuen 11 July 2012 at 12:21

      I assume a person might choose single status because he/she values freedom; having a child that would reduce freedom, might be as significant an issue as the social stigma; in fact, the latter must be much less today than 15 years ago as society has become more relaxed about sexual issues generally so in comparison the significance of a child reducing freedom must have risen

      • 35 yawningbread 11 July 2012 at 14:47

        Why do I get the feeling that while you are painting the descriptive (which is not in dispute), yet it all comes out sounding like prescriptive: “It is difficult, therefore people should not.”

        What about those who can, or are prepared to overcome the difficulty? What about those singles who love children and feel great value in raising them regardless of sacrifices?

      • 36 yuen 11 July 2012 at 15:36

        you are reading too much into what I say; “cautionary” maybe “prescriptive” no, especially as I was only speaking in the context of Will’s personal example

        speaking generally now: just as the government overestimated the effectiveness of its various birth encouragement measures, other well intentioned proposals would encounter the same basic difficulty: having children requires more material and psychological input than used to be, while current social fashions value freedom more and sacrifice less; what new measures the government can devise to reduce this difficulty remains to be seen

      • 37 Poker Player 11 July 2012 at 18:02

        (description = presciption) => (status quo maintained)

      • 38 yawningbread 11 July 2012 at 22:13

        Please, stop picking on people. He said, already, it was not meant to be prescriptive.

      • 39 Poker Player 11 July 2012 at 23:25

        Maybe you want to check when you published his last comment and when I sent mine…we were both responding to the same earlier comment…I no more picked on him than you did.

        This “picking on people” business is really getting ridiculous. I am sure you get hate comments. I don’t see you publishing them with “please don’t hate me” comments in response. You write articles in a blog that allows moderated comments – you are fair game for comments – whether published or not. People who comment in a blog that allows moderated replies to comments – they are fair game for replies – whether published or not. It takes less effort to just ignore comments you don’t like…I don’t mind…and have never complained (mentioned in previous episode)…

        Geez…

      • 40 Poker Player 11 July 2012 at 23:46

        I have something to say about comments. You say

        I have put all comments under moderation and have begun exercising relatively stringent guidelines.

        This means that the comments section is not a forum. They are footnotes to your articles. You decide what to let in and who gets the last word. People who comment are not participating in a conversation – they are providing raw material that you filter to provide the final flourish to you article. So when you let a comment in and then say please don’t send any more like this – it’s editorial schizophrenia.

  11. 41 ape@kinjioleaf 11 July 2012 at 16:20

    Have done the survey the best I can. Personally, I find most questions irrelevant. IMHO, it is the adults abilities and attitude towards parenting the counts more than anything else rather than sexual orientations, marriage and to some extent, economic status. It gets harder to answer if I have to take into considerations factors such as child’s education and medical entitlements that are tied to ‘parents’ legal status.

  12. 42 mike 11 July 2012 at 19:02

    I was brought up in a single parent household where my father died when I was young. There are disadvantages, money was always tight. But I did learn how to a stretch dollar. The social side can be a bit harder, from a childs point of view I did have a longing for a father because friends had one. If the family is strong enough you can over come these things.
    I have seen how society has changed, it was frowned on for a women to have a child out of wedlock, she was judged as only just one step above a whore. Mostly from those good church going folks. Legally a single person could not adopt, but that has changed in many states.
    I have several friends that had kids out of wedlock, where some did simply live together, others did not wish to have anything to do with the father.
    The reason some of my friends chose to marry after the birth was for legal purposes, that are granted to a child. Such as inheitage advateges in claims for a will. Thoe as long as a father legaly claims a child as his, marriage is not needed.
    Will society fail if there are more kids raised by a single parent ? NO. Take a look around next time you are out eating, how many people are really sitting and talking and enjoying a meal toegther, to me it seems most are looking at the phone and either texting or up dating facebook. If a couple can not interact with each other, how can they do so with a child.
    If the family bond is strong enough , a single parent can raise a child just as well as a two parents.
    My personal feelings is that this planet coud use a population decrease, but that is for another article.

  13. 43 Anon_K6rx 11 July 2012 at 19:28

    I did not find Qn 7 elitist.

    Psychiatry screening and disclosure of psychiatry history should be mandatory for those who want to adopt a child. There are handfuls of people who reject seeking professional help for psychiatry disorders for reasons like fear or they believe they are fine.

    When their psychosis or condition relapses, it’s the kid who suffers.

    • 44 Ian 12 July 2012 at 00:21

      If the state can regulate who can adopt because they ‘want to prevent kids from suffering’, can they do the same to parents who are attempting to raise kids because the state ‘want to prevent kids from suffering’? I’m pretty sure there are higher requirements for adopting parents than for parents who want to give birth.

  14. 45 Missed opportunities 11 July 2012 at 20:16

    I recall in the 1960’s-1970’s there were chinese fleeing the Cultural Revolution coming in from China’s southern border and South Vietnamese fleeing S. Vietnam, and later, Vietnamese-Chinese fleeing Vietnam (boat people). If we took them in, we would have less of a drastic problem with aging population now (I know it would still happen but more slowly). We were very afraid of taking them in then and turned most of them away. In the end most settled in Australia and the West – I met some of them, all are very successful people in various sectors. I think at least they would have been more loyal citizens than the new S’pore immigrants we see today.

  15. 46 ricardo 12 July 2012 at 09:45

    There are 2 separate issues here. One is children born out of wedlock but raised by 2 parents living in sin. I’m surprised to find that of the families I know in the UK & Oz, more than half are of this ilk. But they have no problems with support from grandparents etc too. This is accepted behaviour. In fact these families are among the best I am fortunate to know.

    The other issue is single parent families. This is less common and there is (justifiable?) condemnation of the father who leaves his child with the mother without support.

    But the key point is that State financial and other support, eg the “pre-natal and delivery charges … child-care and kindergarten” as suggested by tocqueville, is a given. The support given to single parents is at a level that has aroused envy from the happily (?) married.

    In Singapore, children born out of wedlock are disadvantaged & penalised along with their parents. Single parents even more so.

    The PAP tell us very clearly where their priorities are vis a vis GDP, fertility, quality of life for Singaporeans, GINI and the poor & disadvantaged.

    > RESULT : declining fertility rate cos the PAP believe children born out of wedlock might reduce our GINI index. … 8>D

    This strange phobia, as stated by DPM Teo, is cos the danger that a falling GINI might reduce their multi-million Dignity.

  16. 47 devil 12 July 2012 at 13:15

    I find the “societal norm” reasons for discouraging single parenthood the biggest nonsense of all. Perhaps some people have difficulty understanding the number 1.2 so their alarm bells are not ringing.

    Why do you prioritize social norm when the very society is already headed to extinction?

    Talk about misplaced priorities. In a few more decades there may not even be enough people left to remain a nation.

    We give zero support to single parenting. The most obvious being public housing. Now with a lack of people we have to spend loads of cash importing people here, money that can be used to support single parenting. Do we check if these immigrants grew up with single parenting? If we don’t check how do we ensure that they will perpetuate the “2-parent family norm” when they enter our society?

    Can we really maintain any societal norms in the present scenario?

    I think that we should be devoting all our resources to maximizing the potential of every child born here regardless of the circumstances they are in. Beggars like us really can’t afford to be choosers.

    Unless of course, the real reason was never maintaining societal norms, but the re-engineering of our population by picking whoever they think is “best” for the “economy” from the region.

  17. 48 Viv 12 July 2012 at 17:46

    My own understanding (anecdotally) of the Nordic and West European countries is that the “unmarried” or “single” parents are very often raising their child/children with a partner. They may not be legally married, but they are raising their kids in very conventional, nuclear familes often with extended family support. They aren’t all dysfunctional, underaged, unemployed people as our government makes them out to be.

  18. 49 R 16 July 2012 at 05:33

    I think one of the issues not covered is the fact that women do not have the same maternity care, parental leave and standard of living as Scadavanian/European countries do.

    I was in Berlin recently for work, and lived for a few months. Mothers (whether married, single with partners, divorced or in-vitro) all enjoyed the same privileges of EXTENDED maternity care, laws to prevent workforce discrimination (i.e. you don’t need to disclose your martial status to an interviewer, a company cannot fire you for being pregnant) etc etc most companies also had a “playpen” area in the office or had affiliate kindergartens for the women to drop off their children before work (at a discounted school rate). One of the things I really liked is that if the child was newborn/infant, fathers could ALSO apply for “father” leave, because the government acknowledged the right/responsibility of fatherhood in the upbringing of the child.

    The second issue not touched upon is that before you can have children, you need houses. We have a huge housing crisis where many young married couples either live with their parents and have no space to start their family or have paid a downpayment for HDB/housing, and have no financial means to start a family.

    Bottomline: it’s not just a social issue, but a huge huge one that covers everything from women discriminated in workplace, the onus on the woman as the sole “upbringer” of children, the housing crisis, the wage freezes by the government, lack of maternity/parental support etc etc

  19. 50 Yeo Seng Chuan 18 July 2012 at 08:46

    So, what are the results of the survey? I’m quite interested in what the readership here thinks…


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