Wed, Sep 01, 2010 - Page 5 News List

Singapore populations tops 5m; 36% foreigners


Singapore’s population crossed 5 million this year and more than a third of the total are foreigners, the statistics department said yesterday.

The city-state’s total population stood at 5.08 million people at the end of June, it said in a statement.

Of the number, 3.23 million are citizens, 540,000 are foreigners with permanent residency and 1.3 million are foreign professionals and workers along with their dependents, resulting in a 36 percent share for foreigners in the general population.

The population growth rate was 1.8 percent this year, reflecting a slowdown in the number of permanent residents and foreign workers being admitted into the country, the department said.

The number of permanent residents rose by 1.5 percent, down from at least 6 percent growth per year between 2005 and last year, it said.

Growth in the number of ­non-residents, or those on professional employment passes and shorter-term work permits, slowed to 4.1 percent, off from peaks of 15 percent in 2007 and 19 percent in 2008, it said.

Because Singaporeans have not been producing enough babies, the government had for years rolled out the welcome mat for ­foreigners, whose numbers rose drastically during the economic boom from 2004 to 2007.

However, after the 2008 global financial crisis, the government has taken a fresh look at its open-door policy following complaints from citizens that foreigners are competing for jobs, housing and medical care.

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