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Singapore's total population falls to 5.69 million

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Singapore's non-resident population fell 2.1 per cent to 1.64 million, leading to a dip in the total population to 5.69 million over the past year up to June.

[SINGAPORE] Singapore's non-resident population fell 2.1 per cent to 1.64 million, leading to a dip in the total population to 5.69 million as at June 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic also led to more overseas Singaporeans returning home, with their numbers falling from 217,200 in 2019 to 203,500 in 2020.

The number of overseas Singaporeans per 100 citizens fell across all age groups, but was more pronounced among those aged 20 to 24 years old, said the government's annual Population in Brief report released on Thursday.

There was also a slower growth in the total number of overseas Singaporeans from 2015 to 2020, compared with the previous five-year period.

Overall, Singapore's total population dipped by 0.3 per cent - the first time it has gone into negative territory in the last 10 years.

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This was mainly due to a reduction in foreign employment in the services sector. In terms of types of passes, the largest drop was for work permit holders.

These trends were mainly due to Covid-19 related challenges, brought about by weak demand and travel restrictions, said the report.

The number of citizens grew by 0.6 per cent to reach 3.52 million in June.

The permanent resident (PR) population remained stable at 0.52 million.

The report noted that since the tightening of Singapore's immigration framework in late 2009, the country has accepted about 30,000 new PRs a year.

It said: "This keeps the PR population size stable, and provides a pool of candidates who may be suitable for citizenship. The majority of our PRs are aged between 25-59 years."The pace of immigration will continue to be kept measured and very stable, so that Singapore remains a cohesive society and a good home for all Singaporeans." Last year, 22,714 individuals were granted citizenship and 32,915 were granted PR - numbers that have been largely stable since 2012.

Of these, 1,599 or 7 per cent of new citizens were children born overseas to Singaporean parents.

The population growth rate over the past five years was also slower compared with the previous five-year period.

With increasing life expectancy and low fertility rates, the number of citizens aged 65 and above is rising, and at a faster pace compared with the last decade.

As larger cohorts of baby boomers move into the post-65 age range, the proportion of citizens in this group increased from 10.1 per cent in 2010 to 16.8 per cent in 2020.

This figure is projected to climb to about 23.7 per cent in 10 years' time.

In line with the ageing population, the median age of citizens also inched up from 42 years to 42.2 years over the past year.

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