S’pore population to be about 6.3 million by 2030

A total of 22,076 citizenships and 31,849 permanent residencies were granted in 2017.

By Belmont Lay | March 1, 2018

Singapore’s total population is likely to be below 6 million by 2020, and “significantly” fewer than the guesstimated 6.9 million by 2030.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo revealed these figures in Parliament on Thursday, March 1.

Current population

As of June 2017, Singapore had a population of 5.61 million, based on the figures by the Department of Statistics.

This included 3.44 million citizens and 527,000 permanent residents.

A total of 22,076 citizenships and 31,849 permanent residencies were granted last year.

Population growth rate

Total population growth has slowed to 1 percent per year over the last five years.

This is compared to 3 percent per year for the five years before that.

But going by the current population increase of 50,000 to 60,000 each year, the population could hit 6.4 million by 2030.

Total fertility rate fell but might rise

Teo revealed that 2017’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) fell to a 1.16 after hovering around 1.2 in recent years. This is the lowest since the rate of 1.15 in 2010.

But TFR is expected to go up in future years.

This is so as many children of baby boomers are about 20 to 30 years old today and more of them are not yet married or have not started having children.

Once they do, however, TFR is expected to go up.

Singapore at full-replacement levels

At current rates of immigration, Singapore is “close to achieving the same effect as if we had full-replacement Total Fertility Rate,” Teo said.

Full-replacement TFR of 2.1 would see population remain stable and not shrink.

Teo said immigrants are needed to prevent the population from shrinking in the long term.

Workforce growth will slow to about 1 to 2 percent every year from now till 2020. It will be significantly less than in the past but “a more sustainable pace going forward”.

Teo oversees the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD), at the Committee of Supply debate for the Prime Minister’s Office.

The NPTD population White Paper in January 2013 stated that the Republic’s total population could range between 5.8 million and 6 million by 2020, and 6.5 million to 6.9 million by 2030.

After the 6.9 million figure sparked a public protests, the government said it was a not a target, but for planning purposes.

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Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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