Singapore population rises 1.3% to 5.61 million

SINGAPORE: Even as more Singaporeans had babies last year, Singapore’s population growth remained low, rising 1.3 per cent to reach 5.61 million in June.

The statistics, released on Tuesday (Sep 27) by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) in its annual Population in Brief report, also showed that the number of citizens rose by 1 per cent to 3.41 million, through births and immigration.

The number of permanent residents (PRs) remained relatively stable at 520,000, compared to 530,000 in June 2015.

The non-resident population – largely comprised of foreigners working in Singapore and their families, as well as students – grew by 2.5 per cent to 1.67 million, compared to 2.1 per cent the previous year. Stronger growth was seen in the number of foreign domestic workers and Singaporeans’ dependents on long-term visit passes, the NPTD noted in its report.

Measures taken by the Government to mitigate the inflow of foreigners saw foreign employment growth from June 2015 to June 2016 – excluding foreign domestic helpers – remaining low at 27,000 after reaching a high of 77,000 in 2012. But the number was higher compared to a year ago, when 23,000 foreign employment – excluding maids – grew by 23,000.

“Foreign workforce growth will continue to be moderated to supplement our local workforce in a sustainable manner. To stay competitive in a tight labour market, businesses will need to re-design jobs and restructure to become more manpower-lean and productive,” the NPTD said.

There were 20,815 new citizens last year, largely unchanged from the previous three years. About 38.9 per cent of them were aged 20 and below, 13.4 per cent aged between 21 and 30, 27.1 per cent aged between 31 and 40, and 20.5 per cent aged above 40.

The majority (58.7 per cent) of the new citizens were from other Southeast Asian countries, while 35 per cent were from other parts of Asia and 6.3 per cent from other countries outside of Asia.

The Government takes a “calibrated approach to immigration”, and plans to continue taking in between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizens each year to prevent the citizen population from shrinking, the report said.

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