Baby Eleanor was born in September last year to Mr Eugene Ng and his wife, Mdm Feng Weiwei. Photo: One Little Owl
SINGAPORE — When Mr Eugene Ng, 33, and his wife were trying to start a family, they felt that it would be auspicious for their child to be born in the Year of the Dragon, which comes around once every 12 years in the Chinese Zodiac calendar. They got their wish when baby Eleanor was born in September last year.
“We didn’t hanker for it ... but it was a bonus for us,” said Mr Ng, a teacher.
According to the latest figures released yesterday by the Department of Statistics, a total of 38,641 babies were born to families with at least one Singapore citizen or permanent resident parent last year — a figure that boosted the Republic’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to a five-year high of 1.29 last year, compared to 1.2 in 2011.
The TFR rose across all ethnic groups, with the Chinese experiencing the highest increase — from 1.08 in 2011 to 1.18 last year. The rate for Malays increased to 1.69 from 1.64, while that for Indians rose to 1.15 from 1.09.
Traditionally, the number of babies born here increases when the Dragon Year comes around. In 2000, TFR increased to 1.6 from 1.47 in 1999 before dropping to 1.41 in 2001. This trend was also observed in 1988 when TFR rose to 1.96 from 1.62 in 1987.
For Mrs Phoebe Goh, 29, having a second child closer in age to her first-born — who is now three years old — was her main consideration.
Nevertheless, she conceded that “having a Dragon baby” was on her mind when she was planning to have a second child.
On the flip side, the higher number of babies typically born in a Dragon Year means extra competition for Primary 1 places, for instance.
But real estate sales agent Michael Lim, 31, and his wife found a way around it. They had planned for their child to be born in January this year, which was still within the Dragon Year based on the Chinese Zodiac calendar.
“It will be less competitive that way,” he said.
(Source: Today Online 27 Sept 2013 - http://bit.ly/175G8zy)
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