Singapore has one of the lowest total fertility rates in the world, with 1.25 children born to every female in 2014, while life expectancy at birth rose to 82.8 years in 2014. If these trends continue in the foreseeable future, the number of older people (65 years and above) to working-age people (15 to 64 years) is going to quadruple by 2050. Although such trends are also prevalent in countries such as Japan and Korea, the issue bears particular urgency in Singapore for several reasons.
At the macro level, Singapore is experiencing this phenomenon at a time when its baby boomers are reaching retirement. This means that the group of pioneers who contributed immensely to Singapore’s economic growth in the early years are now exiting the workforce. However, with a trend of low fertility rates, these retirees would not be adequately replaced to maintain a sufficient labour force.
On a micro level, questions concerning ageing become more personal. For example, those approaching retirement would wonder if they have enough resources to maintain their current standard of living, while others may be concerned that future policy changes in healthcare, housing and pension could adversely impact their retirement adequacy.
These are all reasons why I believe the ongoing work at the Centre for Research on the Economics of Ageing (CREA) is so important. The data that we are gathering from the Singapore Life Panel® (SLP) allows us to gain better insights to Singapore’s ageing situation. More importantly, we are able to examine Singapore’s policy frameworks for health, housing and pension, and how changes to these policies may lead to improved outcomes for the elderly in Singapore.
As Director of CREA, I am proud to have a team of distinguished academics and researchers — local and international — leading the charge at CREA. Among them are some of the most renowned individuals from various fields, and their expertise and experiences are in line with the Centre’s vision of the future.
The resources on this website will be updated on a regular basis over the next few years as the data collection and research programme gather pace. Whether you are a fellow researcher in a related field of study, a member of the SLP or a colleague working in the area of ageing, I hope you will find the information and resources on this website useful.