Parliamentary reply by Minister Indranee Rajah on Factors Driving Decline in Intention to Marry
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2022
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye:
To ask the Prime Minister arising from the results of the 2021 Marriage and Parenthood Survey showing that the proportion of singles who wish to get married has been declining over the years (a) what are the factors driving the decline in their intention to get married; and (b) how does the Government intend to mitigate these factors.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
The 2021 Marriage and Parenthood survey shows that while the majority (80%) of young singles still intend to marry, this has declined compared to 83% in 2016 and 86% in 2012.
Among those who did not intend to marry, the common reasons cited were the preference for individual freedom and comfort, the preference to concentrate on their studies or career, and not feeling that marriage would improve their lives. The survey also showed that many singles were not proactive about dating, commonly due to a limited social circle, lack of opportunities to meet potential partners, and a preference to leave dating to chance.
The Government recognises that decisions to date and marry are deeply personal. We are nevertheless committed to creating a conducive environment where marriage and parenthood are achievable, fulfilling, and celebrated. For example, to help Singaporeans better balance their career and family aspirations, we are fostering supportive workplaces through a stronger push for the adoption of flexible work arrangements. We have also extended support to those who are interested in dating and marrying, such as by helping singles expand their social network. The Social Development Network (SDN) collaborates with commercial and community partners to facilitate events and programmes for singles to meet and interact, such as through offering lifestyle activities at subsidised costs.
Supporting marriage and parenthood remains our priority. The efforts of the whole community—including family members, friends and employers—will also be critical in making Singapore a great place for families.