About 31,700 applicants were granted Singapore permanent resident (PR) status every year between 2015 to last year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Wednesday (14 Oct).

Ms Indranee, who is also the Second Minister for Finance and for National Development, told the House today that the Government has granted Singapore citizenship to an average of 22,100 applicants over the past five years.

“This included about 1,600 children born overseas to Singaporean parents every year. We also granted about 31,700 new PRs on average each year over the past five years.”

The total size of the PR population has remained around “half a million for many years now”, she added.

“New citizens either share family ties with Singaporeans or have studied, worked or lived here for some time. They are drawn from the pool of qualified PRs who eventually make the serious commitment to take on citizenship,” said Ms Indranee.

The Minister also highlighted that citizenship and PR status are granted selectively by the Government to applicants who are “committed to making Singapore their home, and who can integrate and contribute to Singapore”.

She added that apart from depending on demographics, infrastructure planning also depends on other factors such as climate change, land use for economic growth, and socio-economic trends.

“Singapore does not have a population target”

Responding to Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Poh Li San’s question on whether the Government would review its long-term population target, Ms Indranee said that as clarified by the Government in March and July, Singapore “does not have a population target or seek to achieve any particular population size”.

“In March 2018, we updated Parliament that given recent trends, Singapore’s total population size is likely to be significantly below 6.9 million by 2030. This outlook remains valid today,” she noted.

Ms Indranee pointed out that the city-state’s population size is affected by many factors such as birth rates, life expectancy and global developments affecting immigration and employment.

“Like most developed economies, Singapore’s resident total fertility rate or TFR is below replacement. Our most recent resident TFR for 2019 was 1.14, unchanged from the year before.

“To moderate the impact of ageing and our low birth rates, we take in a stable and measured number of new citizens and permanent residents every year,” she said.

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