Population Problems- the Declining Birth Rate

Topics: Total fertility rate, Demography, Population Pages: 13 (4566 words) Published: June 11, 2013
Population Problems- The Declining Birth Rate

Our country’s population is declining since the many campaigns were launched in order to allow citizens to not reproduce so rapidly. Singapore’s total fertility rate (TFR) has been on a general decline. The last time that the TFR of the resident population (comprising Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) was above the replacement level of 2.1 was in 1976. The resident TFR was 1.20 in 2011. Thus, we can conclude that Singapore’s total fertility rate has been declining. The campaigns that were launched had a lot of effect and now we have a declining population that has sparked a long line of comments and analysis. I personally have my own opinions on the topic that I will cover in the commentary together with other opinions, comparisons, different races and their population and campaigns and their effectiveness. However, before we can move on to further analyze this intriguing topic, we must first understand the meaning of a declining birth rate and how impactful it is to Singapore.

The definition of a declining birth rate
The definition of a declining birth rate is about a birth rate of a country- a measurement of how many babies are born in an approximate number, getting lesser. This will have a drastic effect regarding the growth and development of a country.

Effect on low birth rate in Singapore
Singapore's TFR (Total Fertility Rate) of 1.16 for last year places in lower than Japan and South Korea, which have TFRs of 1.2 and 1.22 respectively. Taiwan now has the lowest TFR in the world at 0.91. However, some population experts think that last year's drop in birth rates might be because of other reasons and could be reversed this year. It is believed by some to be an unlucky year last year for having children as the Chinese zodiac year of the Tiger. With the economy growing strongly and the good years of the Rabbit and Dragon, the TFR is likely to stabilise - or rise this year. Public projects such as the building of hospitals and community centres are funded by taxes collected from the working population. With a shrinking population, fewer people will be in the workforce. This will mean that each working person will have to pay more taxes to fund public projects, such as building more public facilities such as swimming pools and libraries and in turn, this will lead to the vicious cycle as explained below.

Vicious Cycle
If Singapore does not raise its birth rate, the number of grandchildren of today's generation will shrink by two-thirds - and will still have to support their parents, grandparents and family. Apart from the increased burden tomorrow's generations will face, the shrinking citizen population will also mean a shrinking local workforce. So, while efforts are being made to get more Singaporeans to reproduce, immigrants are needed fill the gap to maintain the Singapore core. In turn, people will lose jobs to the foreign talents that are willing to work hard with a lower salary and will not have the financial ability to get married and have children. Even if some couples manage to have children, those children may turn out to be a menace to society or refuse to work or contribute to Singapore and instead, immigrate overseas. Now, let’s explore the factors as to why Singapore has a declining birth rate.

Factors leading to a declining birth rate
Some people think that there is only one definite reason as to why we have a declining birth rate. However, in my opinion, it is not only one factor or reason but it is several factors leading to this declining birth rate problem. Below you will find the factors that I have compiled that lead to the declining birth rate of Singapore. Higher education

-The fact that more people are going to colleges and universities, and are working to obtain more post-graduate degrees there, along with the soaring costs of education, have contributed greatly to postponing marriage in...
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