Mrs Josephine Teo cautioned against concluding that measures to encourage parenthood were not working, noting that "society as a whole needs to make marriage and parenthood achievable, enjoyable and celebrated".
The personal lives of Singaporeans were examined in detail in Parliament yesterday, as MPs wrung their hands over Singapore's low birth rate.
Why were people not dating, if surveys show that most young Singaporeans wanted to be married?
The minister said Singapore's TFR had fallen below replacement levels for some 40 years, and had stabilised at the current rate for the past 15 years, noting that these same trends have played out in developed East Asian societies like Japan and South Korea.
This means that financial and legislative measures alone are not enough, and at the same time, the TFR could fall without such measures, she added.