updated 5 Oct 2012, 10:53
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Mon, Sep 06, 2010
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Fewer men for women in Singapore

Will Singaporean women have less of a choice when it comes to their life partner now?

The advance release of the 2010 Census last week showed that there are now 974 men for every 1,000 women, against 998 men for every 1,000 women in the 2000 Census.

However, there are more newborn boys than girls in Singapore

The tilt in favour of women remained when comparisons are made in the 25 to 44 years age band among Singapore-born residents, which refers to both citizens and permanent residents (PRs) born here, with 417,410 men against 394,187 women, a difference of 23,223 more men. Another age band where there are more women than men are among elderly folk aged 65 and above.

However, foreign-born residents made a difference to the 25 - 44 age band - 617,131 women against 583,660 men, with a difference of 33,471 more women. These foreign-born women are mainly from Malaysia, China and Indonesia.

As for foreign brides, official figures show that eight out of 10 marriages last year between a citizen and a foreigner involved a local man. Around 7,000 local men married foreign brides in total, mostly from Asian countries.

One demographer, Yap Mui Teng of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy noted that sons of immigrant families may not have opted for PR because they would have to do national service if they did so, but this was not an issue for girls.

Another factor could be biology, since women tend to outlive men.

There are 20,136 women more than men in the above 65 age band, or 117,457 women to 97,231 men.

One concern was that local women may have more difficulty marrying, and end up remaining single. This was raised by sociologist and Nominated MP Paulin Straughan. The other scenario was that Singapore may lose its female residents to foreign spouses.

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