49% of new citizens granted between 2000 and 2021 were not economically active and were granted Singapore citizenship on the basis of their family ties to Singaporeans, being dependants of main applicants, or were still studying.
This was revealed by the Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam, in response to questions filed by Non-constituency Member of Parliament, Leong Mun Wai, who asked for the annual breakdown of age, profession and income distribution of foreigners who have been granted Singapore citizenship since 2000.
On age, Mr Shanmugam referred Mr Leong to the answer he provided on 1 August 2022, a table of the age group of the breakdown of new citizens granted from 2000 to 2021.
The table shows that 63.7% of the new citizens are above 18, or a round-up figure of 223,440.
On profession, Mr Shanmugam noted that from 2000 to 2022, at the point of application, on average, about 37% of new Singapore citizens (SC) granted each year were Professionals, Managers, Executives & Technicians (PMET), 14% were non-PMETs, and 49% were not economically active.
The last group, about 171,900, comprises those who were not working and were granted SC on the basis of family ties to Singaporeans, being dependants of main applicants, or were still studying.
The Minister noted that, based on available data, from 2012 to 2022, at the point of application, on average, about 32% of new SCs granted each year had a gross monthly income above the median income of full-time employed SCs of that year.
This calculation includes new SCs who were granted SC on the basis of family ties to Singaporeans, being dependants of the main applicant, or were still studying, and may or may not have been working at the point of application.
Singapore granted around 23,100 new citizenships last year, with 1,300 going to children born overseas to Singaporean parents.
In an earlier response to a question from Mr Leong, Mr Shanmugam also shared that the number of foreign spouses who took up Singapore citizenship from 2000 to 2022 averages at around 2,700 per year.
Foreign spouses need to have been a Permanent Resident (PR) before he or she can apply for SC. When a couple decides to apply for PR or SC for the foreign spouse depends on their personal and family circumstances.