How smart are students from Singapore

Above all, educated people should reproduce

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Persuading students to start a family with unconventional campaigns is a tradition in Singapore. State founder Lee Kuan Yew last made headlines when he attacked a 27-year-old doctoral student while giving a lecture at NTU. Instead of answering her question, he listened to her about her relationship status. "I not only wish you the best of luck with your dissertation, but above all that you can find a partner quickly," he told her in front of 1,700 fellow students.

Since 1983, Singapore has been systematically seeking rising birth rates and more marriages, especially between college and university graduates. The government founded the Social Development Unit (SDU), a state dating agency for the country's academic elite, specifically for this purpose.

"The men in our country are stupid that they often marry women who are less clever than they are," warned Lee Kuan Yew at the time. Because intelligence is largely hereditary, 30 years ago he feared a "dilution of Singapore's genetic pool". Blogger Tracie Egan Morrissey speculates that similar concerns are driving the makers of the current campaign today.

Government Priority Dating

Dating is a top priority issue for the Singapore government. The SDU now operates under the name Social Development Network (SDN) and is aimed at all singles in Singapore. The state dating service has even published a dating handbook. Thousands have found such a partner, according to the SDN.

Despite these efforts, there are more and more singles in Singapore. According to the government, 79 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 29 do not currently live in a permanent partnership. For women, the value is around 64 percent. Ten years ago it was 15 percentage points less.

As a result of the single culture, Singapore's birth rate has now dropped to 1.2. A value of 2.1 would be necessary to keep the population constant. The government fears the country will shrink from 2025.