It sure has. Singapore today has higher cost of living, higher population density and a more stressful life as a result of those two.
Articles online have been popping up regarding the fertility rate.
- Solving the low fertility problem
- Low birth rate: We must decide
- Why would people want to have kids in Singapore?
So what's the cause?
It's definitely not the stressful education system. Singaporean's don't think that long term. When you want to have a baby, it's unreasonable to predict what will happen in the future.
Is it the cost of living?
In the past, I thought it was not. People who want to have babies will have them anyway. But nowadays, I've changed my mind after looking at the inflation and home prices.
I went to PropertyGuru.com.sg and did a search for a 2 bedroom HDB flat. It's around $300,000. With a 30 year loan, you'll be paying $833 per month (not including interest). Is that good or bad? Depends on how much you're earning, and how much you want to pay for your flat.
But recently, I've changed my mind again. I wondered if there's a radical way to sell HDB flats at cost price. Would it affect the fertility rate? People will have more cash to get themselves a bigger place, a more conducive place to have kids. Or will people take the money and go for more holidays? It's the latter that made me change my mind.
Do the educated people today want more time for themselves or for babies?
Babies are important to Singapore. With a per capita of $49,270 (in 2012), third in the world, each baby is worth that much. And every baby essentially guarantees GDP growth because of consumption that comes from education, housing and the basic necessities of life. The baby is Singapore's most important GDP unit. People are.
More importantly, each baby will have a higher chance of staying in Singapore, thereby locking the money used to buy housing in Singapore. If there's going to be too many non-Singaporeans, chances of money flowing out the country is higher, and more significant. This happens when people don't want to retire in Singapore. And Singapore isn't a good place to retire in.
So up until now, we still don't really know the cause of the low fertility rate. Someone should interview people on the ground to find out the true cause. The answer is going to be very interesting.
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. - Albert Einstein.