Education About Asia: Online Archives

We Need 50,000 Babies a Year: Marriage and the Family in Singapore

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By Chris Hudson

For the last four decades, issues around marriage and the family in Singapore have been prominent in public discourse and have been represented by the government as features of the economic and political agenda. It seems that, of all the social institutions in Singapore society, marriage and the family are those most often cited as integral to the long-term prosperity of the city-state. The Singapore government has a reputation for authoritarian-style management and a well documented history of attempts to influence people’s lives, both public and private. This article examines marriage and the family in Singapore and considers the successes and failures of attempts to influence marriage and fertility patterns.