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Have three, or more if you can afford it

At the beginning of this year, Singapore expanded its preschool subsidies and improved its support for assisted reproduction and fertility treatments. The goal: more Singaporean children. According to the World Bank (via the Wall Street Journal), Singapore has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world at about 1.14 children per woman as of 2018. This is down from about 3 in 1970, when the government was actually worried about the opposite problem — too many children.

Of course, this trend is not unique to Singapore. This is generally the way the winds are blowing in the developed world. Young people are spending more time on education, career, and travel. And they’re delaying marriage (or not getting married). On top of this, family-sized housing has become fairly expensive in most big cities. The fastest solution is to ramp up immigration, but many countries, including Singapore, have concerns about what this does to the “national identity.”

So there seems to be a preference for throwing money at the problem and promotional material with slogans like this one: “Have three, or more if you can afford it.”

Chart: WSJ

1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: Economies of agglomeration in London | BRANDON DONNELLY

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