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Singapore’s population dips to 5.69m, after fall in non-resident numbers

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s citizen population grew by 0.6 per cent over the past year while the country’s non-resident population went down by 2.1 per cent, resulting in a dip in overall numbers for the first time in at least a decade. This is the latest data from the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group released on Thursday (Sept 24).

A fall in non-resident numbers, due to fewer foreigners employed during the Covid-19 pandemic, brought the total population in Singapore down to 5.69 million.

A fall in non-resident numbers, due to fewer foreigners employed during the Covid-19 pandemic, brought the total population in Singapore down to 5.69 million.

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SINGAPORE — Singapore’s citizen population grew by 0.6 per cent over the past year while the country’s non-resident population went down by 2.1 per cent, resulting in a dip in overall numbers for the first time in almost two decades. This is the latest data from the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group released on Thursday (Sept 24).

The annual Population In Brief report showed that the fall in non-resident numbers, due to fewer foreigners employed during the Covid-19 pandemic, brought the total population down by 0.3 per cent from June last year to 5.69 million.

The last time Singapore’s total population fell was in 1986, when it declined by 0.1 per cent, data from the Department of Statistics showed.

The population numbers were below the planning figures from the controversial Population White Paper released in 2013 that estimated the country’s total population could range between 5.8 million and 6 million by 2020.

A public outcry was sparked over figures the white paper used for the total population in 2030 — 6.5 million to 6.9 million — which the Government said was not a forecast but a figure used for planning purposes.

Thursday's report also showed that the number of overseas Singaporeans fell during the same period from 217,200 to 203,500 as Singaporeans returned home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The growth in the total number of overseas Singaporeans has also slowed over the past five years compared to the previous five-year period.

TODAY takes a look at the numbers:

The population, as of June this year

  • 4.04 million residents, made up of 3.52 million citizens and 521,000 permanent residents (PR)

  • 1.64 million non-residents

Fall in foreign employment

  • The fall in non-resident population was largely due to a reduction in foreign employment in the services sector

  • Foreign employment — excluding domestic workers — fell by 46,000 people as of June, compared to a 22,000 growth in the previous one-year period

  • Based on pass type, work permit holders experienced the biggest drop in numbers

Immigration and citizenship

  • The PR population fell slightly by 0.8 per cent to 521,000 in June this year

  • 32,915 PR applications were granted last year. This number has been kept stable since the tightening of the immigration framework in 2009

  • 22,714 citizenship applications were granted last year. Of these, 1,599 were children born overseas to Singaporean parents

Population continues to age

  • The citizen population continues to age steadily. As of June this year, 16.8 per cent were aged 65 and above, compared to 16 per cent in June last year. The figure was just 10.1 per cent in 2010. It is projected to increase to 23.7 per cent in 2030

  • Median age of the citizen population rose to 42.2 from 42 last year. This has been rising every year for the past decade

  • The number of citizens aged 80 and above has almost doubled over the last decade

Slight increase in citizen births

  • 32,844 babies were born last year to at least one citizen parent, a slight increase from 32,413 the year before

  • Over the past five years, there were 32,900 citizen births each year on average. This is higher than the 31,700 citizen births each year on average for the previous five-year period from 2010 to 2014

  • Resident fertility rate, however, remained unchanged at 1.14, partly due to a delay in marriages. This remains well below the replacement rate, usually taken to be 2.1

  • Median age of citizen mothers at first birth was 30.6 last year, similar to the 30.4 in 2018

Decline in marriages last year

  • There were 22,165 marriages last year involving at least one citizen, a fall from 23,632 in 2018

  • Over the past five years, there were 23,600 citizen marriages each year on average. This is higher than the 22,400 citizen marriages each year on average for the previous five-year period from 2010 to 2014

  • Median age at first marriage for citizen grooms was 30.1, unchanged from 2014

  • Median age at first marriage for citizen brides was 28.4, a slight increase from 27.9 in 2014

  • 37 per cent of citizen marriages were to a PR or non-resident

  • 22 per cent of citizen marriages were between people of different races

Related topics

citizen non-resident population PMO

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