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More Singaporeans are not getting married with the proportion of singles in 2009 significantly higher compared to a decade ago, official data showed on Tuesday.
Among those aged 30-34, the proportion of singles in 2009 (41.9 percent for males and 29.8 percent for females) was significantly higher compared to 1999 (33.2 percent for males and 21.7 percent for females), according to the official Population in Brief 2010 report.
Singlehood rates were the highest among males with below secondary educational qualifications and among females with university qualifications. Citizens who do get married are also doing so at a later age.
Overall, the general marriage rate for citizen males decreased from 53.1 per 1,000 unmarried males in 1999 to 41.5 in 2009, while that for citizen females decreased from 56.0 to 38.2 over the same period.
Proportionately more Singapore citizens are marrying non-citizens. Of all marriages involving citizens, the share of those between citizens and non-citizens increased from 30.7 percent in 1999 to 40.8 percent in 2009. The majority of the non-citizen spouses originated from Asia.
Singapore continues to face population challenges
Singapore’s total population grew by 3.1 percent to reach 4.99 million in 2009 over the previous year, official data showed on Tuesday.
Growth was recorded across citizens (+1.1 percent), permanent residents (PR; +11.5 percent) and non-residents (+4.8 percent). Amid the global recession, growth in the non-resident population had slowed significantly compared to the 19.0 percent increase in 2008 over 2007, according to a report released by Singapore’s National Population Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office.
The secretariat said that Singapore continues to face significant population challenges, brought about by persistently low fertility rates and consequently an ageing population.
To resolve this, it will continue on its three-prong approach of supporting more Singaporeans in getting married and having more children, facilitating the naturalization and integration of foreigners, and engaging Singaporeans staying overseas.
The proportion of residents (citizens and PRs) aged 65 and above increased from 7.0 percent of the resident population in 1999 to 8.8 percent in 2009.
Correspondingly, the number of younger residents aged 15-64 for every resident aged 65 and above (i.e. the old-age support ratio) fell from 10.1 in 1999 to 8.3 in 2009.