Singapore has launched a program in which couples will get a payout for having children during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rapidly falling fertility rates and a suffering economy. The country’s deputy prime minister stated that the initiative aims to reassure future parents who are concerned about financial pressure and job loss and have therefore decided to postpone plans around childbirth. Uncertainty about income or poor economic conditions is a huge driving factor in family planning, and Singapore has been experiencing a deep recession.
Singapore’s GDP shrank 12.6% in the second quarter, making it the steepest drop in the country’s recorded history. Although it remains unclear how much the payout will be for having a child, the money would certainly help new parents with added expenses. Singapore has historically had one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and governments have attempted to reverse this for several years to no avail. Currently, Singapore’s fertility rate stands at just 1.14 births per woman.