One in four Singaporeans marrying a foreigner, survey finds

Thursday, April 22, 2021

 About one in four citizen marriages in Singapore involves a non-resident spouse, according to data released by the Ministry of Social and Family Development  on Thursday, CHannel News Asia reports.

This ratio has been “relatively constant” for the past 20 years, said an MSF spokesman in response to CNA queries. “However, the composition is evolving.” 

The proportion of non-resident grooms increased to 28 per cent in 2019, from 21 per cent in 2000. More than three quarters, or 78 per cent in 2019, have post-secondary qualifications and above, the data showed. 

According to the data, the median age of non-resident brides is increasing, and the proportion of younger non-resident brides is decreasing, the MSF spokesman noted. 

The proportion of non-resident brides with post-secondary qualifications and above also increased sharply from 36 per cent in 2000 to 66 per cent in 2019, the data showed. 

Non-residents here refer to people who are not Singaporeans or permanent residents.

“The changing profile could be due to our increasing cosmopolitan society where there are more foreigners who come here to study and work, and the rising prevalence of global work and travel,” said the MSF spokesman. 

“This increases the likelihood of marriages to better-educated foreign spouses. It is likely to also reflect an increasing social and cultural openness of Singaporeans to marry foreign spouses.” 

The data also indicates that the lifestyles of Singapore citizen-non resident couples “are not different from other Singaporean couples”, said the spokesman. 

The median ages at first marriage of both non-resident brides and grooms also increased, at 29 and 31.3 years old respectively in 2019, up from 26.1 and 30.6 in 2000, the data showed. 

This is “comparable” to the overall median ages of brides and grooms at first marriage, 28.8 and 30.4 respectively, the spokesman added. -Photo: CNA