Population: Relentless rise in foreigners continues?

I refer to the Department of Statistics’ Population Trends report, released on 28 September, 2012.

Non-Singaporeans continue to grow in absolute numbers

The number of Non-Singaporeans (foreigners and Permanent Residents (PRs)) increased by 100,800 from 1.9265 to 2.0273 million, from June 2011 to June 2012.

For the previous year, from 2010 to 2011, the increase was lower at 80,500.

Therefore, the number of non-Singaporeans increased by 20,300 more last year, compared to the previous year.

Non-Singaporeans continue to grow at a higher rate

This is an increase of 5.2 compared to 4.4 per cent the previous year.

No. of PRs declined

The number of PRs declined from 541,000 to 532,000 (decrease of 1.7 %) and 533,100 (increase of 0.2 %), from 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

But Non-Singaporeans increased much more

This means that although PRs declined, the total number of Non-Singaporeans increased much more, because of the much higher increase in foreigners.

Foreigners grew 7.2 %

The annual growth rate of foreigners was 6.9 and 7.2 per cent in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Citizens grew by less than 1 %

In contrast, Singapore citizens (including new citizens), only increased by 26,500 and 27,900 in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

This is an increase of only 0.82 and 0.86 per cent for 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Thus, foreigners grew by 7.2 and 6.9 per cent, non-Singaporeans grew by 5.2 and 4.4 per cent, in 2012 and 2011, compared to citizens’ growth of only 0.86 and 0.82 per cent for the same period, respectively.

Curtail influx of foreigners?

What happened to the consistent rhetoric that the influx of foreigners will be curtailed?

Need 25,000 new citizens and more foreign workers?

Why maintain this rethoric and then have the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) come out with a study that we need 25,000 new citizens a year, followed by the Ministry of Tarde and Industry (MTI) study that we need to increase the number of foreigners in order for the economy to continue to grow?

National Conversation?

It may appear that by the time that the National Conversation is finalised, the relentless rise in the influx of foreigners may have increased the foreign population by even much more, than when the CONversation began.


Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.