At the same time, the number of deaths grew by 1.8 percent, from 20,905 in 2017 to 21,282 last year, the report said.


The country's total fertility rate also dipped from 1.16 in 2017 to 1.14 in 2018, well below the replacement rate of 2.1.

The median age of resident live births for first-time mothers was 30.6 years last year, compared with 29.7 years in 2009.

These figures have caused great concern over Singapore’s aging population.

The National University of Singapore (NUS)’s sociologist Tan Ern Ser said the downward trend in births will generally continue. This is a concern, he added, as the population must be replenished to ensure that a vibrant economy can be maintained, which can also support a greying population.

The birth figures reflect current socio-economic trends, such as more young people choosing to be single and couples delaying marriage and parenthood, Associate Professor Kang Soon-Hock of the Singapore University of Social Sciences said. But increased uncertainties because of digital disruption, global financial volatility and climate change also play a part.

Employers should do more to help workers find a balance while Singapore may have to review its stance on immigration if births keep dropping./.