Parliamentary reply by Minister Indranee Rajah on Population Scenarios for Citizen and Citizen Working-Age Population
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 5 JUL 2021
Prof Hoon Hian Teck:
To ask the Prime Minister whether there is any revision to two projections contained in the Population White Paper published in January 2013, namely (i) at current birth rates and without immigration, our citizen population will shrink from 2025 onwards and (ii) the number of citizens in the working ages of 20 to 64 years will decline from 2020 due to more citizens retiring and fewer citizens entering the workforce.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
Minister Josephine Teo provided an update on our population outlook during the Committee of Supply debate in 2018. In that speech, we also provided an update on the following scenarios1:
Based on the total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.22 and without immigration, our total citizen population will shrink in the long term.
Even with immigration, the number of citizens aged 20 to 64 would likely peak around 2020 and decline thereafter. Without immigration, this group would have started to shrink earlier and decline at a much faster rate.
The changes to Singapore’s population set out in these scenarios remain valid. While we continue to take in a calibrated number of citizens and permanent residents to moderate the impact of ageing and low birth rates, we maintain a strong and cohesive core. In 2020, around 77% of Singapore residents (comprising Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) were born in Singapore, while around 87% of citizens were born in Singapore3.
The ongoing COVID-19 situation has had an impact on our population numbers for 2020. We saw a slight decline in our total population last year but it is too early to assess the full impact at this point. We will continue to monitor the immediate and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on our population trends and scenarios.
1 These scenarios are not predictions, forecasts or reflections of future policy changes. They are meant to illustrate a range of possible changes to the Singapore population during different timeframes, based on certain trends and assumptions. The Government does not have any population target.
2 For 2020, the TFR is lower at 1.1.
3 Not all residents born outside of Singapore are new immigrants. Residents born outside of Singapore include children of citizens who were residing overseas at the time of birth, and also include persons who were born outside of Singapore but who became citizens at the point of independence.