Exodus of foreign residents lets Singapore’s population shrink

Departure gate at Singapore’s Changi airport

Apart from having the lowest fertility rate in the world, Singapore now got another problem with population growth. As foreign residents and workers are leaving in droves due to job losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the city state’s population is actually shrinking.

The overall population dropped by about 18,000 people, or 0.3 per cent, to 5.69 million, according to newly released annual population report, Reuters reported.

A sharp drop in foreigners, down two per cent to 1.64 million, as well as a fall in permanent resident numbers, outweighed a modest rise in citizens, some of whom returned from overseas as the pandemic spread globally.

“These trends were largely due to Covid-19 related challenges, brought about by weak demand and travel restrictions,” the report said, citing job losses in services, a sector heavily reliant on low-paid foreign labour.

Government seeks to shield the domestic labour market

Adding to that, the Singapore government has been raising barriers for hiring foreigners to preserve jobs for locals as the city state faces the deepest recession in its history with an expected slump in GDP between five to seven per cent this year.

The high number of foreign workers in Singapore has mainly to do with the rise of Singapore’s middle class in the past decades, triggering a trend to hire domestic help and other cheap workers from more disadvantaged countries, mainly the Philippines and various other Southeast Asian nations. This has caused an influx of low-paid migrants to act as nannies, maids, cleaners, drivers, security guards and construction workers. During Covid-19, many of these workers have either voluntarily headed back to their countries or have been laid off.



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Departure gate at Singapore's Changi airport Apart from having the lowest fertility rate in the world, Singapore now got another problem with population growth. As foreign residents and workers are leaving in droves due to job losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the city state’s population is actually shrinking. The overall population dropped by about 18,000 people, or 0.3 per cent, to 5.69 million, according to newly released annual population report, Reuters reported. A sharp drop in foreigners, down two per cent to 1.64 million, as well as a fall in permanent resident numbers, outweighed a modest rise in...

Departure gate at Singapore’s Changi airport

Apart from having the lowest fertility rate in the world, Singapore now got another problem with population growth. As foreign residents and workers are leaving in droves due to job losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the city state’s population is actually shrinking.

The overall population dropped by about 18,000 people, or 0.3 per cent, to 5.69 million, according to newly released annual population report, Reuters reported.

A sharp drop in foreigners, down two per cent to 1.64 million, as well as a fall in permanent resident numbers, outweighed a modest rise in citizens, some of whom returned from overseas as the pandemic spread globally.

“These trends were largely due to Covid-19 related challenges, brought about by weak demand and travel restrictions,” the report said, citing job losses in services, a sector heavily reliant on low-paid foreign labour.

Government seeks to shield the domestic labour market

Adding to that, the Singapore government has been raising barriers for hiring foreigners to preserve jobs for locals as the city state faces the deepest recession in its history with an expected slump in GDP between five to seven per cent this year.

The high number of foreign workers in Singapore has mainly to do with the rise of Singapore’s middle class in the past decades, triggering a trend to hire domestic help and other cheap workers from more disadvantaged countries, mainly the Philippines and various other Southeast Asian nations. This has caused an influx of low-paid migrants to act as nannies, maids, cleaners, drivers, security guards and construction workers. During Covid-19, many of these workers have either voluntarily headed back to their countries or have been laid off.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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