Which of This Has The Highest Correlation with Our Birth Rate: COE, HDB Price, Price of iPhone etc.
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Which of This Has The Highest Correlation with Our Birth Rate: COE, HDB Price, Price of iPhone etc.

Ming Feng
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The Last Sandwich Generation

Ever wondered how much it costs to be the last sandwich generation?

Last Sandwich generation. How much it costs?

You need $1,705,504 to be the last sandwich generation.

This amount is amplified due to Singapore’s ageing population. Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world with 8.9 births per 1,000 people.

With most couples choosing to not have kids, we decide to take a more statistic approach to try to draw a relation between our low birth rate with…

Almost everything else.

Cause of low birth rate Singapore

Singapore’s Birth Rate vs Everything Else

Singapore's birth rate vs everything else

This is probably the Geekiest article ever created to analyse why Singaporeans aren’t making babies.

Again, these are from the statistics we gathered. It will not be a full representation of the reason for our low birth rate. Some of the relationships do not make sense logically.

Possible FactorsCorrelation with Birth RateWhat Does it Mean?
Housing Price
(3-Room HDB)
0.36Increase in 3-Room HDB price increases birth rate slightly
Housing Price
(4-Room HDB)
0.23Increase in 4-Room HDB price increases birth rate slightly
COE Price0.39Increase COE price increases birth rate slightly
Paid Hours Worked
(Per Week)
0.59Increase in paid hours worked increases birth rate by quite a bit
Paid Overtime Hours Worked
(Per Week)
0.64Increase in paid overtime work increases birth rate by quite a bit
Consumer Price Index
(CPI)
0.25Increase in CPI increases birth rate slightly
Total Real Wage Change0.35Increase in real wage increases birth rate slightly
Average Price of Infant Milk Powder-0.29Increase in infant milk price decreases birth rate slightly
Price of iPhone-0.51Increase in iPhone price decreases birth rate by quite a bit

The correlation coefficient’s values range between -1.0 and 1.0.

  • A perfect positive correlation means that the correlation coefficient is exactly 1.
    This means that both factors move in the same direction in lockstep.
  • A perfect negative correlation is exactly -1.
    This means that both factors move in exactly opposite directions
  • If the correlation is zero, it means that both factors are not related at all.

Do note that for correlation (r), it is calculated using the formula:

Formula for correlation

or you can simply use the function on your excel sheet which was what we did!

modern problems modern solution
Source: makeameme

Housing Price vs Birth Rate

Because “You Do Not Need Much Space to Have Sex.”

Then Senior Minister of State, Josephine Teo’s statement created a bit of commotion on Social media. But can the underlying issue of Singapore’s birth rate attributed to “space”? You do not need much space to have sex, but you NEED A SPACE, RIGHT?

According to a report by PropertyGuru, 70% of Singaporeans aged 21 to 37 are still living with their parents.

The National Youth Council also reported that locally, the percentage of singles who stayed with their parents hovered between 83% to 86% from 2002 to 2010.

 

Living with your parents meme
Source: awesomeinventions.com

Housing Price (3-Room HDB) vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.36

We try to draw a relationship between the Singapore Real Estate Exchange Property Index (SPI) for 3-room HDB and birth rate.

SRX property index (SPI) vs birth rate

 

Housing Price (4-Room HDB) vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.23

4-Room HDB Price vs Birth Rate

YearSingapore Real Estate Exchange Property Index (SPI)Birth Rate
3 Room HDB4 Room HDB
2019124131.71.14
2018127.81331.14
2017134135.21.16
2016135.2134.51.20
2015138.5136.41.24
2014147.9146.61.25
2013155.2152.41.19
2012144.1141.31.29
2011131.2127.91.20
2010115.7113.41.15
20091001001.22

Expanding our search for answers.

COE Price vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.39

Baby in car
Source: giphy

We are going to jump the gun and assume that Singaporeans equate the cost of having a car to their decision of having a kid.

We are using the January COE prices for each year for simplicity sake.

COE Price vs Birth rate

YearCOE Price of Cars
(Cat B)
Birth Rate
2019$32,2001.14
2018$45,2891.14
2017$53,1061.16
2016$54,9201.20
2015$75,2891.24
2014$78,7001.25
2013$96,2101.19
2012$65,8011.29
2011$69,0001.20
2010$19,1901.15
2009$3,0891.22

Could it also be our working hours in Singapore that hindered our birth rate?

More time at work, less family, fewer babies. Makes sense?

Average Paid Hours Worked Per Week vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.59

With a stunning correlation of 0.59, is the average paid hours worked per week the solution to our “depleting population”?

Average working hours per week vs birth rate

YearAverage Weekly Hours WorkedBirth Rate
201944.71.14
201844.81.14
201745.11.16
201645.51.20
201545.61.24
201446.01.25
201346.21.19
201246.21.29
201146.21.20
201046.21.15
200946.01.22

Paid Overtime Hours Worked vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.64

At a more alarming correlation of 0.64, we have average overtime hours worked per week.

Average Overtime Working Hours per week vs Birth rate

YearAverage Weekly Overtime Hours WorkedBirth Rate
20192.71.14
20182.81.14
20173.01.16
20163.31.20
20153.41.24
20143.71.25
20133.81.19
20123.81.29
20113.71.20
20103.71.15
20093.41.22

money no enough
Source: 8 Days

Wondering if the cost of living has a greater impact on Singapore’s birth rate than working hours, we calculated the correlation between Consumer Price Index (CPI) and birth rate.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.25

Consumer Price Index (CPI) vs Birth Rate

YearConsumer Price Index (CPI)Birth Rate
20190.61.14
20180.41.14
20170.61.16
2016-0.51.20
2015-0.51.24
201411.25
20132.41.19
20124.61.29
20115.21.20
20102.81.15
20090.61.22

Total Real Wage Change vs Birth Rate – Correlation 0.35

Head to work. Get a pay raise. Start a family.

 

 

Annual total real wage vs birth rate

YearAnnual Total Wage Change
(Real)
Birth Rate
2019-1.01.14
20182.91.14
20170.91.16
2016-0.41.20
20152.91.24
20143.91.25
20135.41.19
20123.61.29
20113.21.20
20104.21.15
20093.31.22

Could the average retail prices of infant milk powder over the years affect our birth rate?

Average Retail Prices of Infant Milk Powder vs Birth Rate – Correlation -0.29

Milk powder cost vs birth rate

YearAverage Retail Prices of Infant Milk PowderBirth Rate
201856.821.14
201756.651.16
201656.061.20
201553.691.24
201451.011.25
201344.301.19
201240.281.29
201138.811.20
201035.441.15
200933.411.22

We do not have the price of infant milk powder 2019 at the point of this article.


We are going to go a little crazy here.

Price of iPhone payment meme
Source: Know Your Meme

What if the price of the iPhone has an impact on our birth rate?

Price of iPhone vs Birth Rate – Correlation -0.51

iphone price vs birth rate

 

YearAnnual Total Wage Change
(Real)
Birth Rate
2019$2,1991.14
2018$1,8881.14
2017$1,3881.16
2016$1,3881.20
2015$1,3881.24
2014$1,2881.25
2013$1,2881.19
2012$1,2381.29
2011$1,2381.20
2010$1,0881.15

Despite various government initiatives such as the baby bonus, Singapore’s birth rate remains low.

According to a Straits Times article in the year 2018, Singaporeans are generally marrying later to establish their career first. The idea of marriage is also no longer a necessity as most of us become financially sustainable as an individual.

Well, according to the statistics mentioned above, we hope to be able to keep the price of iPhone low in hope of bringing up the birth rate. But we know that it is not as simple as that!

About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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