Singapore's ideal population size? We can afford six million, says PM Lee

PM Lee Hsien Loong says Singapore can afford to have a population of six million. (Reuters file photo)

Six million.

That's the total number of people Singapore can afford to accomodate in the near future, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as quoted by Channel NewsAsia.

Responding to a question from the host during a recorded panel discussion on MediaCorp, PM Lee said, "It's very hard to
give a concrete figure, because the situation is evolving. We're gradually increasing our land area, and if we rebuild our older towns,then we can accommodate more people."

"Today our population is over 5 million. In the future, 6 million or so should not be a problem. Beyond that, we'll have to think more carefully," Mr Lee added.

He was responding to a question by host Chun Guek Lay who had asked what was Singapore's ideal population target.

As of December last year, Singapore's population stood at 5.26 million.

Singapore's ideal population size has been a bone of contention in recent years as the country struggles to cope with the influx of foreigners and a record low birth rate.