The Singapore state has never been shy to intervene in the social life of its populace. This is borne out in many of its social and population policies, and needless to say, family matters are not immune. Singapore is distinct in how the government has institutionalised the family system and officially upheld a set of family values as core national ideology.
Family & Population Changes in Singapore: A Unique Case in the Global Family Change depicts the evolution of Singapore’s family and population landscape in the last half a century, the related public policies, and future challenges. Since the country gained independence in 1965, family and population policies have been integral to her nation-building strategies. Spread across 11 chapters, the topics discussed include the changes in population compositions, family structures, relations, and values among major ethnic groups. They also discussed policies for vulnerable populations such as female-headed households, cross-cultural families, same-sex partnering, the elderly, and low-income families.
In the context of global family changes, Singapore’s experience is by no means a linear extrapolation of those in the Western industrialised countries, but a unique interplay between globalisation, culture, and public policies. The book reflects on how families have fared and the efficacies of various family and population policies. The majority of the papers in this collection were presented at the conference “Singapore Families and Population Dynamics” organised by the Centre for Family and Population Research, National University of Singapore in April 2015.