SINGAPORE: The number of citizen marriages in Singapore last year fell to its lowest since 2013, according to the annual Population in Brief report released by the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group on Wednesday (Sep 25).
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There were 23,632 citizen marriages in 2018, compared with 24,417 citizen marriages the previous year. This is the lowest since 2013, where there were 21,842 such marriages.
Citizen marriages refer to those involving at least one Singapore citizen.
The median age at first marriage in 2018 was 29.9 years for citizen grooms and 28.2 years for citizen brides, similar to the previous five years, according to the report.
More than one in three citizen marriages last year involved transnational couples, which involve one Singapore citizen and one non-Singapore citizen, broadly in line with the past few years.
About one in five citizen marriages last year were between people of different races, the same as the previous year.
Over the last five years (2014 to 2018), there were about 24,000 citizen marriages on average each year, higher than the average of 21,900 annually between 2009 and 2013.
CITIZEN BIRTHS EDGE UP, TOTAL FERTILITY RATE FALLS
There were 32,413 citizen births in 2018, compared with 32,356 the previous year.
The median age of citizen mothers at first birth was 30.4 years in 2018, remaining similar to the median age of 30.3 years in 2017.
However, the resident total fertility rate (TFR) fell from 1.16 in 2017 to 1.14 in 2018.
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This was due partly to a larger cohort of young Singaporeans (aged 20-30 in 2018) entering "peak childbearing ages" but not having children yet, said the report.
Meanwhile, “ever-married” Singaporean women aged between 45 and 49 had fewer children on average compared to a decade ago.
Ever-married women refer to those who are married, widowed, divorced or separated.
In 2018, they had an average of 1.91 children, down from 2.14 children in 2008.
Most citizen ever-married women had two or more children last year.
The proportion of citizen ever-married females with two children remaining stable at 43.3 per cent last year, compared with 42.7 per cent in 2008.
Over the same period, the proportion of women with three or more children fell from 33.9 per cent to 25.4 per cent, while the proportions without children and with one child increased.
Singapore’s citizen population continues to age.
About 16 per cent were aged 65 and above as of June 2019, compared with 15.2 per cent last year and 9.9 per cent in 2009. This number is expected to increase to about 23.7 per cent in 2030.
"With increasing life expectancy and low fertility rates, the proportion of our citizen population aged 65 years and above is rising, and at a faster pace compared to the last decade," said the report.
Large cohorts of baby boomers have also begun entering the post-65 age range, it added.
The median age of Singapore’s citizen population rose from 41.7 years in 2018 to 42 years as of June 2019.
Currently, 63.1 per cent of citizens are aged between 20 and 64 – a decrease from 64.4 per cent a decade ago in 2009. This is projected to decrease further to about 56.1 per cent in 2030.
The number of citizens aged 80 and above has also almost doubled over the last decade.
As of June this year, about 112,000 citizens were over the age of 80, compared with about 63,000 in 2009.