S'pore's population at 5.54m, non-resident population growth slows

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singapore recorded its slowest population growth in more than a decade last year, the Department of Statistics revealed on Wednesday.

According to figures in the Population Trends 2015 report, Singapore's population stood at 5.54 million as of June 2015, comprising 3.9 million residents and 1.63 million non-residents.

This represents a 1.2 per cent growth from 2014, the slowest in more than a decade and lower than the 1.3 per cent growth recorded last year.

Of the resident population, 3.38 million are citizens and 0.53 million are permanent residents (PRs).

Non-resident population growth in the past year slowed to 2.1 per cent, continuing a downward trend since 2012. The non-resident population comprises foreign students, foreign domestic workers, work pass (Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit) holders as well as dependents of citizens, PRs and work pass holders.

According to the National Population and Talent Division, the slower growth of the non-resident population was "due to concrete steps taken to slow the growth of our foreign workforce".

However, the citizen population recorded a growth of 1 per cent due to citizen births and calibrated immigration.

There were a total of 33,193 citizen births, referring to babies born to at least one citizen parent, last year, matching the number recorded in the auspicious Dragon Year in 2012.

At the same time, the number of marriages involving at least one citizen also increased from 21,842 in 2013 to 24,037 in 2014, the highest number since 1997.

In terms of immigration, there were about 20,000 new citizens last year, and NPTD said that it planned to continue taking in between 15,000 and 25,000 new citizens every year to prevent the citizen population from shrinking.

The figures also revealed that Singapore continues to move towards a more ageing society. The median age of the citizen population rose to 40.7 in 2015, with the proportion of citizens aged 65 or older increasing from 12.4 per cent last year to 13.1 per cent in 2015.

The upshot is that there is currently 4.9 citizens in the working age band of 20-64 for each citizen aged 65 and above, a decline from 7.2 in 2005. This means that there are more than two fewer people in the working-age band for every elderly citizen now as compared to a decade ago.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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