Increased Number of Women Staying Childless

The number of women who stay childless has almost tripled in the past 20 years. This finding in the Population Trends 2015 report, was released by the Department of Statistics in October 2015.

The increase is among ever-married female citizens and permanent residents (PRs) aged between 40 and 49 - the age group which is likely to have completed childbearing. The group totalled 267,628 in 2014.

Ever-married refers to those who are currently married, divorced or widowed.

In 2014, 11.2 per cent of these women had no children, up from 7.1 per cent in 2004 and 4.2 per cent in 1994.

Experts are expecting the trend to continue as values and norms about having kids change.

Part of the reason for the increase is that some couples want children but are unable to. For many, it is may be due to over-delayed childbearing.

There are also those who chose not to have children, felt that they could not afford to or were unwilling to sacrifice careers to juggle motherhood and work, amidst other various reasons.

Sociologists said the growing number of childless couples is worrying, considering that more Singaporeans are staying single.

How can the Government better support couples in their decision to have children?

Source: “More women are staying childless” (The Straits Times, 18 October 2015)

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