11 Sep '11, 11pm

World pauses to remember 9/11 attacks, a decade on - Straits Times

MANY societies grow old before they get rich. Singapore escaped the trap of that impoverishing spiral by some two decades, based on per capita income. The Singapore that emerges from a study of population trends by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), extrapolated from declining birth rates after 1990, is one that is old (and getting older faster) and rich. It is not such a bad situation to be in, relatively speaking. However, being the delicate construction that it is, Singapore has to stay reasonably young and be of an optimal population size to sustain affluence, yet not strain social services. It can be accomplished either through policy or by natural process. The latter course has long looked like a losing battle with the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) now down to 1.15, about half the replacement level. Planners would be wise to have low birth rates fixed as a planning ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/Premium/Premium_20110912.html

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