Introduction Singapore is a city-state with a total population of about 4.5 million and a resident population of about 3.6 million (Singapore Department of Statistics 2006). The current imagery of Singapore as a cosmopolitan multicultural society at the forefront of technological advancements and international commerce is a stark contrast to the much smaller Third World city it was pre-1960s. Yet, in the 40 years or so since this small city-state gained independence, the transformation from developing to developed status has had major implications, particularly for the family. In this short period, the total fertility rate fell from 4.7 in 1965 (the year of independence) to 1.26 in 2006 (Singapore Department of Statistics 2002). Singapore is now one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, and as a nation that is totally dependent on manpower as its main resource, population concerns are one of the most serious issues it faces.