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    Oct 01, 2015

    Rise in young missed by Cupid's arrow

    LAST year was a good year for tying the knot. Even so, the proportion of young single Singaporeans has risen over time.

    There were 24,037 marriages involving at least one Singapore citizen. According to the Population In Brief 2015 report released yesterday, this is the most number of citizen marriages since 1997.

    A total of 24,195 citizen marriages were recorded in 1997, according to the Department of Statistics.

    In his book, The Population Of Singapore (Third Edition), Saw Swee Hock wrote that the 1997 figure was boosted by "couples rushing to marry to avoid paying the new $5,000 deposit introduced in May under the Fiance/Fiancee Scheme for Housing and Development Board apartments".

    Also notable in the latest marriage statistics was the rise in inter-ethnic matches, which made up 20 per cent of citizen marriages. This is almost double the 12 per cent recorded in 2004, and reflects the diversity of Singapore's population.

    Holding steadier was the proportion of transnational marriages - between citizens and non-citizens - at 37 per cent of all marriages involving citizens. This trend of transnational pairings comprising about a third of citizen marriages here has held relatively steady in the past decade. It hit 36 per cent in 2004 and peaked at 41 per cent for three years in 2005, 2009 and 2010.

    The median age at first marriage in 2014 was 30.1 for male citizens and 27.9 for female citizens, similar to 2013.

    The report also noted that the the proportion of singles among the resident population had risen. In 2004, the figure was 30.8 per cent but last year, it was 32.2 per cent.

    And the increase in singlehood was more pronounced among younger people.

    The proportion of single male citizens aged 25 to 29 was 71.6 per cent in 2004 but it rose to 81.7 per cent in 2014.

    For male citizens aged 30 to 34, the proportion who were single rose from 33.1 per cent in 2004 to 39.2 per cent last year.

    A similar trend was observed for women. The proportion of female citizens aged 25 to 29 was 46.8 per cent in 2004 but jumped to 64.2 per cent last year.

    The proportion of single female citizens aged 30 to 34 years increased from 20.8 per cent in 2004 to 26.6 per cent in 2014.

    Singlehood was also generally more prevalent among men with lower educational qualifications and more highly educated women.

    The proportion of single male citizens in their 30s with university qualifications was 27.1 per cent last year. This is lower than the 38.6 per cent with below-secondary-school qualifications.

    This contrasts with the situation for single female citizens in their 30s. The proportion with university qualifications stood at 25.6 per cent last year, much higher than the 12.2 per cent with qualifications below secondary school.