By Kevin Varley
(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s population grew 5% to a record 5.92 million at mid-2023 from a year ago, according to a government report, posting its fastest increase since 2008 as the city-state attracted more foreign workers.
The number of non-residents in the city-state jumped 13.1% to 1.768 million as of June from a year earlier, while the resident population grew 1.9%, according to estimates from the National Population and Talent Division released Friday. The population had risen 5.5% in mid-2008, based on data from the Singapore Department of Statistics.
The latest data marks a second straight year of gains after back-to-back population declines in 2020 and 2021 when COVID-related border restrictions barred foreign workers and students from entering the city-state. Around the same time, the government tightened its policy on employment visas as the economy slowed, pushing the count of non-residents to the lowest in a decade.
The mid-year data also showed that Singapore continues to grow older, as the proportion of citizens aged 65 years and above now makes up 19.1% of the total compared with 16.6% a year ago.
“The increase in the non-resident population was mainly due to foreign employment growth” during the period, the government said in a statement, adding the largest growth came from workers in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors.
As for the city-state’s aging population, the government forecasts that by 2030, the ratio will increase to 24.1%. Singapore releases population estimates in the middle of the year.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.