Singapore's Population Hits 5.54 Million

Singapore's total population has hit 5.54 million.

This comes five years after crossing the five million mark, even though population growth in the 12-month period since June last year has sunk to an 11-year low.

The total number of people, including permanent residents (PRs) and foreigners working here, continues to rise sluggishly by 1.2 per cent, a tad slower than the 1.3 per cent in the previous year.

These latest figures are from a National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) report out yesterday (30 Sep).

Citizen marriages and births were at a high last year. There were 24,037 marriages involving at least one citizen - the most since 1997. Measures in recent years, like the Parenthood Priority Scheme, which helps married couples with children buy homes, and the introduction of paternity leave have helped.

However, this could not stave off the slower growth, which is a result of the Government's continued efforts to tamp down the hiring of foreign workers.

Growth of the resident population, which includes PRs, has stayed constant. As of June 2015, there were 3.38 million citizens and 530,000 PRs. Most PRs are in the "prime working ages" of 25 to 49.

In contrast, the non-resident pool grew a lot slower - 2.1 per cent against 2.9 per cent in the previous year. Nearly half the non-residents were work permit holders in occupations locals shun, like construction workers.

As businesses continue to face a tight labour market, the Government will help businesses explore more skills- and capital-intensive ways to grow, so that they continue to thrive and create quality jobs for Singaporeans, said the NPTD.

One of the ways is through the SkillsFuture scheme, which lets Singaporeans upgrade themselves throughout their lives.

Still, the population will continue to age, so the Government will continue its calibrated approach to immigration, taking in between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizens each year. "Immigration helps to balance the shrinking and ageing of our citizen population," said NPTD.

Source: “Singapore population crosses 5.5 million” (The Straits Times, 1 Oct 2015)

What are your thoughts on the population situation in Singapore? Do you agree that the marriage and parenthood initiatives were effective?

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