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Singapore’s overall population declines by 0.3%, largely due to a reduction in foreigners

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Overall, Singapore’s total population sees a decline of 0.3% from June 2019 to June 2020 according to data released by the National Population and Talent Division on Thursday (Sep 24).

The citizen population grew by 0.6%, to reach 3.52 million as of Jun 2020.

The non-resident population decreased by 2.1%, to reach 1.64 million as of Jun 2020. The decline was largely due to a reduction in foreign employment in Services from Jun 2019 to Jun 2020.

The proportion of citizens aged 65 and older continues to increase steadily.

The citizen population continues to age steadily, with the percentage of citizens aged 65 and above increased from 16% to 16.8%.

Composition of the overall population

Work Permit holders are semi-skilled foreign workers.

  • CMP: Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process sectors
  • Non-CMP: e.g. Services, Manufacturing

S Pass Holders are mid-level skilled staff with relevant qualifications and work experience. From 1 Oct 2020 onwards, the minimum qualifying salary will be $2,500.

Employment Pass Holders are foreign professionals, managers and executives who need to earn at least $4,500 a month and have acceptable qualifications. The minimum qualifying salary was recently raised from $3,900 to $4,500 from 1 Sep 2020.

Ageing

With increasing life expectancy and low fertility rates, the proportion of our citizen population aged 65 years and above is rising, and at a faster pace compared to the last decade.

Large cohorts of “baby boomers” (those born from 1950 to 1964) have begun entering the post-65 age range.

Median Age

In line with population ageing, the median age of the citizen population also rose from 42.0 years to 42.2 years between 2019 and 2020.

Fewer citizens in younger age bands, more citizens aged 65 and older

Marriages by residency status of grooms and brides

Immigration and citizens by descent

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.

Permanent residence is an intermediate step by which individuals may take up citizenship in Singapore.

Since the tightening of the immigration framework in late 2009, the number of new PRs a year is kept at about 30,000. This keeps the PR population size stable and provides a pool of candidates who may be suitable for citizenship.

In 2019, 22,714 people were granted citizenships. Of these, 1,599 or 7% were children born overseas to Singaporean parents (“citizens by descent”).

32,915 individuals were granted PR in 2019.

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