How Covid-19 and other trends hit Singapore's population - in 8 charts

Singapore registered record dips in its population numbers over the past year. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's population saw a record fall over the past year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, official figures released on Tuesday (Sept 28) showed. The Straits Times looks at some of the key numbers and trends.

1. Second year in a row population fell

The Republic's total population as at June fell for the second straight year, down to 5.45 million, from 5.69 million in 2020. This 4.1 per cent decrease is the largest year-on-year decline - and only the third instance of negative growth - since 1950.

2. Fewer citizens, PRs

The citizen population decreased by 0.7 per cent, to 3.5 million. The permanent resident (PR) population also decreased by 6.2 per cent, to 490,000, as more citizens and PRs remained overseas continuously for 12 months or more due to travel restrictions.

3. Further decrease in non-resident population

The non-resident population decreased by 10.7 per cent to 1.47 million, largely stemming from a decrease in foreign employment due to travel restrictions and uncertain economic conditions. The decrease was seen across all pass types, with the largest drop in work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard, and process (CMP) sectors.

4. Ageing population

With more people living longer and fewer children being born, the proportion of citizens aged 65 and above is rising at a faster pace compared with the last decade, from 10.4 per cent in 2011 to 17.6 per cent in 2021. This is expected to increase to about 23.8 per cent in 2030. Meanwhile, nearly 62 per cent of citizens are between the ages of 20 and 64, down from 65 per cent in 2011.

5. Fewer citizen marriages

As some Singaporeans postponed their marriages due to restrictions on large gatherings, last year saw 19,430 citizen marriages, 12.3 per cent fewer than the 22,165 such marriages in 2019. The largest drop in quarterly numbers was in Q2 2020, when in-person solemnisations had to be postponed during the circuit breaker, from April 7 to June 1, 2020.

6. Fewer transnational marriages

Partly due to travel restrictions, last year saw a significant decrease in the proportion of citizen marriages involving transnational couples. The proportion of inter-ethnic marriages also dipped slightly but remained consistent at about 20 per cent.

7. Fewer citizen births

Last year saw 31,816 citizen births, 3.1 per cent fewer than the 32,844 such births in 2019. The sharpest dip was in the last three months of 2020, with 8,000 births compared with 8,700 for the same period in 2019. As many of these babies would have been conceived around the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore, in February 2020, the lower number suggests that some couples may have postponed their parenthood plans due to the pandemic. A similar decrease in births was also observed in other advanced societies last year, such as the United States, Japan and Italy.

8. Fewer new citizens, PRs

There were fewer new citizens and PRs last year, arising from limited slots to complete the final steps for PR and citizenship registration, which have to be done in person. Altogether, 21,085 individuals were granted citizenship and 27,470 individuals were granted PR. About 6 per cent of the new citizens, or 1,344 of them, were children born overseas to Singaporean parents - a figure lower than previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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