SINGAPORE has seen a four percent decrease in number of births in 2017, falling to 39,615 from 41,251 in the previous year, a report said.
According to the city state’s Department of Statistics, the data showed that the 2017 figure was the lowest number of births since 2010, when 37,967 births were recorded, Channel News Asia reported.
The highest number of births recorded within these eight years was in 2012, which saw 42,663 births in the year of the dragon.
And while 2017 had the lowest number of births, the tiny country also saw more deaths (20,905) recorded last year, a 4.4 percent increase from 2016.
The bulk of the deaths were recorded in hospitals, of which 17,192 of the deceased were aged 60 or older.
The two most common deaths were due to malignant neoplasms or cancerous tumours and heart and hypertensive diseases.
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In 2016, Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division, raised concerns over low birthrates in the country, but courted controversy after telling young couples they “do not need much space to have sex”.
The government also launched a scheme to prioritize first-time married couples in obtaining homes as concerns mount over their abilities to secure housing before starting families.
In 2015, the government began dishing out as much as S$10,000 ($7,400) in cash to Singaporeans who have a baby in a bid to enhance its incentives scheme.
But while the government was pushing to address the infertility woes, the minister said it should not be too nosy in the private lives of its citizens.
Teo said encouraging birth rates was better done with persuasion instead of having the “Government poke its nose into the bedroom”. Women, she said, should attempt to have babies when they are younger.