Singapore needs 25,000 immigrants annually to maintain population
April 25, 2012 00:00
Singapore - The wealthy city-state of Singapore needs totake in up to 25,000 newcomers every year to keep up its populationand productivity, officials said Wednesday.
The government has been tightening immigration admissions since early 2011, in response to growing public concern about competition for jobs and to gain votes for the elections it won in May.
But reducing the number of overseas workers may not be good for the island, which has been chalking up solid economic growth for the past three decades and is experiencing an acute baby shortage.
Singapore's total fertility rate, or the estimated number of children each woman will bear over her lifetime, is now at 1.2, one of the lowest in the world, and well below the 2.1 figure at which the population would replace itself.
To compensate, the country needs to take in 20,000 to 25,000 newpeople annually to keep the population at 5 million, according to astudy released by the National Population and Talent Division.
Without immigrants, and as the birthrate is unlikely to rise, the population would start declining from 2025, and hit 3 million in2050, the Institute of Policy Studies warned in September.
The pool of working age citizens would drop from today's 2.1 million to about 1.5 million by 2060.//DPA