Parliamentary reply by Minister Indranee on Reasons Women Have Fewer Children Than Preferred
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
FRIDAY, 3 MARCH 2023
Mr Leon Perera:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the Government has conducted any research to understand the number of children that Singaporean women would like to have and the reasons why this may be different from the number they actually do have; and (b) if not, whether it will consider doing so and publishing the findings of the fertility gap and the reasons for it.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
The Government regularly engages Singaporeans to better understand attitudes and perceptions towards marriage and parenthood. According to the 2021 Marriage and Parenthood Survey of about 6,000 respondents, Singaporean women want to have at least two children on average. However, in practice, married female respondents had less than two children. Common reasons cited for not having more children include concerns over the financial cost and the stress of raising children, and difficulties in managing work and family demands. These are issues that the Government is addressing, including through the latest enhancements to the marriage and parenthood measures in this year’s Budget. However, beyond Government-initiated measures, we need a whole-of-society approach that is supportive of families, values family well-being, and acts accordingly. We encourage everyone to work toward building a Singapore that is Made For Families.