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Singstat's Population Trend 2009 Report reveals shocking information. Leong Sze Hian

New citizens outstripping net increase of existing citizens?

Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “Singapore population of 4.99m is older, more likely living alone” (CNA, Sep 28).

Page 11 of the recently released 72-page Population Trends 2009 – narrative on “Population Size and Growth” – states that “Singapore residents, comprising Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents, formed 75 per cent of the total population.”

(Right: New Citizens being sworn in, Photo Credit: People’s Association)

What was not highlighted is that non-citizens account for about 36 per cent of the total population. The percentage of citizens in the total population has gradually declined from 86.1% in 1990 to *64% now.

Whilst the growth rates for the total population, Singapore citizens, and non-resident population were given, the growth rate for Permanent Residents was conspicuously absent in the narrative – but buried in the statistical table in the report.

The PRs growth rate was a whopping 11.5%!

Put it another way, the rate of growth for PRs and non-residents was about 10 and 4 times more than that for citizens.

Of the total population increase of about 150,000 from 2008 to 2009, citizens only accounted for 36,300, or about 24 per cent.

Last year’s Channel News Asia’s report on the Population Trends 2008 had statistics on the number of new PRs and new citizens.

However, I am unable to find these statistics in this year’s report, and the CNA report is also silent in this regard.

Without these data, it may not be possible to estimate say, the number of PRs who may have left Singapore.

By the way, there were about 21,000 new citizens and about 79,000 new PRs last year.

There were 39,826 live-births in 2008, of which 37,277 were resident births (with at least one parent being a Singapore resident).

Why is there no break-down on the number of citizen births?

If I assume the same ratio of citizens to PRs in the total resident population as applying to births, the estimated number of citizen births is about 31,103.

Using the same assumption, the estimated number of citizen deaths is about 14,370, out of a total of 17,222 resident deaths.

Does 36,300 increase in citizens means that there were 19,587 new citizens? (103 estimated citizen births + 14,390 citizen deaths.)

We know that there were 21,000 new citizens last year, but we do not know how many there were from June 2008 to June 2009.

If we make an adjustment for the thousands of Singaporeans who may have migrated in the year, perhaps the number of new citizens from June 2008 to June 2009, may be more than 21,000? T

In any case, it would appear that the number of new citizens may already be outstripping the net increase in the number of existing citizens (births – deaths – emigration).

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*TOC thanks Ruijie for pointing out an error. The figure has been corrected from 74% to 64%.