SINGAPORE: There was little change in Singapore’s population size from 2016 to 2017, with total population growing by 0.1 per cent to 5.61 million.
This is because of a fall in the non-resident population, which dropped 1.6 per cent to 1.65 million, according to statistics released on Wednesday (Sep 27) by the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) in its annual Population in Brief report.
Non-residents include dependants, international students and those who are here to work, and the fall in these numbers was mainly attributed to the decrease in work permit holders in the construction as well as marine and offshore engineering sectors. This reflects the weakness in these sectors, NPTD said.
As a result of the decline in the non-resident population, Singapore total population growth was almost flat at 0.1 per cent last year compared to the 1.3 per cent in the previous year, said the report.
CITIZEN POPULATION GREW, SLIGHT RISE IN PERMANENT RESIDENTS
At the same time, the statistics showed that citizen population grew by 0.9 per cent to 3.44 million due to citizen births and immigration.
Coupled with a slight rise in the number of permanent residents (PRs) from 520,000 to 530,000, there were 3.97 million residents - Singaporeans and PRs - as of June.
Singapore grants between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizenships every year to "individuals who are committed to making Singapore their home", NPTD said in the report.
"Immigration helps to moderate the shrinking size and pace of ageing of our citizen population," it added.
There were 22,102 new citizens last year, the highest in at least 10 years. The majority (62 per cent) were from Southeast Asian countries, with 32.2 per cent from other Asian countries and 5.8 per cent from countries outside Asia.
About 1,500, or 7 per cent, of the new citizenships were granted to children born overseas to Singaporean parents, NPTD stated in its report.
The number of PRs granted was also slightly higher last year at 31,050, compared to 29,955 in 2015.
Of the new PRs, 62 per cent were from Southeast Asian countries, 29.6 per cent from other Asian countries and 8.4 per cent from countries outside Asia.
The report also noted that the citizen population continues to age, and at a faster pace compared to the last decade. Between 2016 and 2017, the proportion of citizens aged 65 and above increased from 13.7 per cent to 14.4 per cent.