People living in Singapore are more materialistic and less satisfied with life than their American counterparts and thus have a lower desire for children, says a team led by Norman P. Li of Singapore Management University who examined factors related to attitudes toward marriage and the importance of having children in both the US and Singapore.
The study also points out that as Singaporean women had higher materialistic standards, they also placed higher emphasis on potential mates’ earning capacity. Results suggest a consideration of psychological variables such as life satisfaction, materialism, and mate preferences may lead to a better understanding of larger-scale socioeconomic issues, including low fertility rates among developed East Asian countries.
It is apparently at least in part for this reason that the fertility rate in Singapore, at 1.09 births per woman’s lifetime, is about half the U.S. fertility rate of 2.05, the researchers say.
Singapore is richer than many other countries while Singaporeans are less happier. Are we asking too much?