singapore birthrates and stuff

Decided to take a look at Singapore birthrates. Data obtained from

Full chart here



Made with help and code from:

Line graph:


Information sources

Population Disincentives

The government responded with policies intended to further reduce the birth rate. Abortion and voluntary sterilization were legalized in 1970. Between 1969 and 1972, a set of policies known as “population disincentives” were instituted to raise the costs of bearing third, fourth, and subsequent children. Civil servants received no paid maternity leave for third and subsequent children; maternity hospitals charged progressively higher fees for each additional birth; and income tax deductions for all but the first two children were eliminated. Large families received no extra consideration in public housing assignments, and top priority in the competition for enrollment in the most desirable primary schools was given to only children and to children whose parents had been sterilized before the age of forty. Voluntary sterilization was rewarded by seven days of paid sick leave and by priority in the allocation of such public goods as housing and education. The policies were accompanied by publicity campaigns urging parents to “Stop at Two” and arguing that large families threatened parents’ present livelihood and future security. The penalties weighed more heavily on the poor, and were justified by the authorities as a means of encouraging the poor to concentrate their limited resources on adequately nurturing a few children who would be equipped to rise from poverty and become productive citizens.

“Have three, or more if you can afford it”

To persuade couples to have more children, previous anti-natalist measures, such as disincentives against the third child in school registration, were removed. These were replaced by new incentives designed to ease the burden of having a third child, such as tax rebates, childcare subsidies and the ability to use Medisave to cover the delivery costs of the first three children. Furthermore, parents who had given birth to a third child were given allocation priority if they wanted to upgrade to larger Housing and Development Board flats. To encourage employers to be more pro-family, the public service took the lead by offering part-time employment and extending no-pay childcare leave to mothers as well as unrecorded paid leave for them to look after their sick children below six years of age. In addition to these pro-natalist measures, compulsory counselling was imposed on women who were either planning for abortion or sterilisation.

“Graduate Mothers Scheme” – 1984

Under the new Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme, children of graduate mothers with at least three children would receive top priority in Primary One registration in a school of their choice. 50 For women with five O Level passes, they would enjoy enhanced child relief that increased from the first to the third child.
Graduate Mothers’ Priority Scheme

On the flip side, the government introduced the Small Family Incentive Scheme to encourage less-educated, low-income parents to limit their family sizes.

Baby Bonus Scheme

The Baby Bonus Scheme was first introduced by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong during the National Day Rally held on 20 August 2000. Also known as the Child Development Co-savings Scheme, it is an initiative targeted at boosting fertility rates by encouraging married couples to have more babies


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