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Singapore’s population grows to 5.7 million, boosted by increase in foreign workers

Singapore’s population grows to 5.7 million, boosted by increase in foreign workers

People cross a traffic junction in the Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore on May 27, 2017. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s population grew by 1.2 per cent to reach 5.7 million in June, boosted by a jump in the number of foreign workers, according to official statistics released on Wednesday (Sep 25).

At the same time, the number of Singapore citizenships granted was the highest in at least 11 years, said the annual Population in Brief report.

READ: Number of citizen marriages in Singapore lowest since 2013

As of June 2019, there were 3.5 million Singapore citizens, an increase of 0.8 per cent from the previous year. The permanent resident (PR) population remained relatively stable at 530,000, while non-residents – which include dependants, international students and people working in the country – rose by 2 per cent to 1.68 million.

The bump in non-residents was mainly due to an increase in work permit holders, driven by growth in the services sector and a turnaround in the construction industry.

Foreign employment – excluding domestic workers – grew by around 22,000 people between June 2018 and June 2019. 

This follows two consecutive periods of decline. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of foreigners working in Singapore went down by 10,000; and between 2016 and 2017, it fell by around 36,000.

There were 22,550 new citizens last year, up from 22,076 the year before. 

The majority (61.6 per cent) were from Southeast Asian countries, with 32.4 per cent from other Asian countries and 6 per cent from countries outside Asia.

About 1,576, or 7 per cent, of the new citizenships were granted to children born overseas to Singaporean parents, roughly the same number as the previous year.

Singapore grants between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizenships a year “to individuals who are committed to making Singapore their home”, said the report, which is published by the Prime Minister’s Office Strategy Group.

“Immigration helps to moderate the impact of ageing and low birth rates in our citizen population, and keeps it from shrinking over the longer term,” it said.

READ: More than 6 in 10 feel immigrants not doing enough to integrate into Singapore: Survey

The number of PRs granted was also slightly higher last year at 32,710, compared to 31,849 the year before.

Of the new PRs, 62.5 per cent were from Southeast Asian countries, 31.2 per cent from other Asian countries and 6.3 per cent from countries outside Asia.

Source: CNA/cy


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