Singapore records slowest decade of population growth since independence

People wearing face masks cross a road amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore

Singapore’s total population saw its lowest decade of growth since independence between 2010 and 2020, increasing by 1.1 per cent a year – a slowdown from the 2.5 per cent per year between 2000 and 2010.

This was among the findings released on Wednesday (Jun 16) by the Department of Statistics (DOS) in its first statistical release from its census of the population in 2020. More information from the census will be released on Friday.

The census – Singapore’s largest national statistical exercise – is conducted once a decade to collect demographic, social and economic data, among others. It surveyed 150,000 households last year.

It tells us where we were, where we’re at now, and identifies some of the things that we need to address going forward,” said Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division.

Though some of the data will be affected as the survey was done amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she said the census captures “broad trends over the decade … notwithstanding the blips over the last one and a half years”.

The total population increased from 5.08 million in 2010 to 5.69 million in 2020. Within this, the citizen population grew from 3.23 million to 3.52 million, while the permanent resident population remained “stable” at around 0.5 million, it added.

The number of non-residents increased from 1.31 million to 1.64 million.

Ms Indranee pointed out that Singapore citizens accounted for a greater proportion of the growth this decade, while non-residents grew at a slower rate than before.

The DOS also said ethnic compositions for citizen and resident populations remained stable.

At the same time, the country’s population continued to age. In 2020, 15.2 per cent of the resident population was aged 65 and above, up from 9 per cent in 2010.

The median age of the resident population also rose to 41.5 years in 2020, up from 37.4 years in 2010.

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