~by: Leong Sze Hian~

I refer to the Department of Statistics’ Population Trends 2011, released on 28 September 2011 (see HERE).

In 2011, the number of non-residents increased by 89,400 or 6.9 per cent, compared to 51,300 or 4.1 per cent in 2010.

The number of permanent residents (PRs) declined for the first time by -9,000 or -1.7 per cent, compared to 7,800 or 1.5 per cent in 2010.

What this means is that the total foreign population (non-residents and PRs) increased by a net 80,400 (89,400 non-residents – 9,000 PRs) and 59,100 (51,300 non-residents + 7,800 PRs), in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Therefore, on a rate of growth year-on-year basis, foreigners grew by 36 per cent (80,400 divided by 59,100).

So, in a way, the drop  in PRs was more than made up for by the increase in non-residents.

Lower citizens growth

In contrast, citizens grew by only 26,500 or 0.8 per cent, in 2011, whih is yet another all-time low, like the 0.8 per cent in 2007 and 2005, and lower than the 0.9 per cent in 2010.

Since I understand that there were about 20,000 new citizens in a year, the growth in Singapore-born citizens may have been lower.

Ageing population

The median age rose to an all-time high from 37.4 years in 2010 to 38.0 in 2011.

Old-age support ratio

The ratio of working-age residents to elderly residents dropped to an all-time low. There were 7.9 residents aged 15-64 years for each resident aged 65 years & over in 2011, a decline from 8.2 in 2010.

More singles, divorces, less marriages

The proportion of singles among the resident population rose from 30 per cent in 2000 to 32 per cent in 2010. The proportion who were either divorced or separated also increased from 2.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent over the same period. Correspondingly, the proportion of married persons declined from 62 per cent to 59 per cent.

A relatively high proportion of males and females in their thirties were also never-married in 2010. Among those aged 30 – 34 years, 37 per cent of the males and 25 per cent of the females remained single in 2010, compared to the 31 per cent for males and 19 per cent for females in 2000.

A total of 24,363 marriages were registered in 2010, which was 6.6 per cent lower than the 26,081 registered in 2009.

The general marriage rate declined from 43.6 marriages per 1,000 unmarried males in 2009 to 39.4 in 2010. Among unmarried female residents, the rate dropped from 41.1 to 37.2 marriages per 1,000 unmarried females during the same period.

There were 7,405 marital dissolutions (i.e. divorces and annulments) in 2010, an increase from the 7,386 marital dissolutions in2009.

So, singles are at an all-time high, marriage is at an all-time low and divorce is at an all-time high.

Lowest fertility rate ever

Total live-births dropped by 4.1 per cent from 39,570 in 2009 to 37,967 in 2010. Resident births (i.e. births with at least one parent who is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident) also fell by 4.9 per cent from 36,925 in 2009 to 35,129 in 2010.

Singapore’s resident total fertility rate (TFR) continued to decline from 1.22 births per female in 2009 to 1.15 births per female in 2010.

The average number of children born was lower, the more educated the married females were.

So, this may further raise questions as to the effectiveness of our procreation policies which give more incentives such as tax benefits to higher income families.

More graduates

The educational profile of the resident population improved over the years. Some 49 per cent of the resident non-student population aged 15 years & over in 2010 had at least post-secondary qualifications, up from 33 per cent in 2000. The share of university graduates also increased significantly from 12 per cent in 2000 to 23 per cent in 2010.

The proportion of university graduates among residents aged 25 – 39 years increased from 21 per cent in 2000 to 44 per cent in 2010.

Less home owners

The Home Ownership Rate has continued to decline from 90.1 per cent in 2008, to 88.8 and 87.2 in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Is this an indication of the affordability of housing in Singapore?

Living longer

Life Expectancy At Birth rose to its highest ever at 79.3 and 84.1 years for males and females, respectively.


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