Saturday, February 27, 2010

Singlehood versus marrying a foreigner. Which is the bigger threat if you are single and looking for someone ?

According to a survey done in 2000, only 5% of Singapore singles want to remain single eventually. Although the faith in marriage as an institution has eroded, many singles are still interested in settling down. This article tries to arm singles with what to look out for when choosing a mate.

A discussion with a friend yielded some insight into what a single Singaporean should be looking out for.

Let's start out with a few assumptions:

a) If there are more singles than people who marry foreigners, singles are choosing single-hood because it is a better choice than marrying a foreigner. Pro-marriage singles need to compete with the concept of single-hood to find a spouse.

b) If there are more people who marry foreigners than singles, then marrying a foreigner is a better choice. Pro-marriage singles need to compete with foreigners to find a spouse.

The original discussion was focused only on Singaporean men marrying Vietnamese foreign talent, obviously that number is small so I've constructed a more interesting question that can yield itself to statistical measurement.

According to statistics which you can look for in the web, we can say with confidence that less than 20% of the Singapore population will be single once they reach 45 years old. ( According to census in 2000, number of singles in is about 15.5% for men and about 14% for women. )

Now, let's look at marriage trends. Based on recent marriage trends, only 52.5% of marriages registers in ROM are Singaporeans who marry other Singaporeans, deducting the number of marriages of foreigners with foreigners registered in ROM, about 40% of Singaporeans marry a foreigner these days.

So let's come up with an approximation of numbers to answer the question :

20% of Singaporeans prefer and thus, stick with single-hood. The rest are married.
Given recent trends, 40% of marriages are local-foreigners. 60% of marriages are local-local.

The final breakdown is as follows :

20% single, 48% married to a local, 32% married to a foreigner.

So clearly, the argument that a Singaporean will need to compete to single-hood versus foreign talent is not as convincing as the argument that Singaporeans will turn to foreigners if they cannot find a local spouse. This argument remains even stronger for Singaporean men as more Singaporean men are married to foreigners in 2008 than Singaporean women.

What insight can you possibly wean from this conclusion ?

a) If you are looking for a spouse, you need to be better than a foreigner. For men, it may be accumulated wealth and facial symmetry. For women, it will likely be based on waist to hip ratio and other predictors of sexual attractiveness.

b) If you simply cannot find a local spouse, it is possible to find a foreign spouse. This occurs often enough in Singapore to be a major lifestyle option.

c) But if you can't even find a foreign spouse, you will need to consider the possibly that you are not doing enough self-improvement to defeat singlehood which is currently the "weaker opponent". The solution is continuous self-improvement to become a better person for marriage.

I think this analysis is not complete. it would be interesting to break the figure down for Singaporean men versus Singaporean women. Most marriages with foreigners are committed by Singapore men. There is still a possibility that Singaporean women rather be single than marry a foreigner.


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