Photo of Josephine Teo from The New Paper

For the 18th year in a row, Singapore has in 2018 scored the world’s lowest fertility rate of 1.16. Minister Josephine Teo said the figure is a 7-year-low, and that more foreigners will be required to “prevent the population from shrinking”:

“If our current citizen population were able to replace itself with a TFR of 2.1, we can have a stable citizen population well into the future, without immigration. But, at the current TFR and if there was no immigration at all, our citizen population will shrink in the long term. At around the current rates of immigration, we are close to achieving the same effect as if we had full-replacement TFR. Therefore, we do not expect any major changes to our immigration policy presently. In other words, with a moderate level of immigration, we can prevent the citizen population from shrinking in the long term.”

Minister Josephine Teo said that she will import 22,000 new citizens and give about 30,000 permanent residency to foreigners every year until 2030 to achieve the 6.9 million population target by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:

“Singapore takes in a “carefully balanced” number of new immigrants each year. Last year, 22,076 Singapore Citizenships were granted, about the same as in the past few years. We have also taken in a steady number of Permanent Residents each year, many of whom take up citizenship eventually,” Mrs Teo said. “The PR population remains largely stable at around 530,000, with 31,849 PRs granted last year. Given recent trends in foreign employment and current pace of immigration, we expect that by 2020, total population is likely to be below 6 million. By 2030, the total population is likely to be significantly below 6.9 million, as Prime Minister Lee (Hsien Loong) announced previously.”

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