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Immigration inevitable for Singapore – IPS

A new study has shown that even if Singapore increases the proportion of foreigners in its midst, the population will still get older and the labour growth rate will still fall. What immigration does is to slow down these effects. The report, released by the Institute of Policy Studies, is the latest to show why immigration is inevitable for Singapore.  The report takes into account the country’s non-resident population, including those on work permits, long-term social visit passes and foreign students.

The report sets out three scenarios. One, where the proportion of foreigners remains at 25 per cent of the total population. Two, where this proportion drops to 20 per cent. And three, where the proportion is raised to 33 per cent. For all scenarios, it is assumed that Singapore will take in 30,000 new citizens or Permanent Residents every year, and the country’s Total Fertility Rate remains at 1.24. The report puts Singapore’s population at 6.8 million in 2030 – up from the current 5.2 million – if the proportion of foreigners in the population is raised to 33 per cent. And while the average population will still get older, a higher proportion of non-residents will slow this process down.

The same is said for the support ratio between a working adult and an elderly. While the ratio will still decline, with more foreigners in the midst, the impact will be somewhat mitigated. At the current fertility rate, with 30,000 new citizens or PRs a year plus non-residents in the mix, the support ratio for every elderly person aged 65 and above to a working adult is 1 is to 10.3. In about 20 years, this will be halved to 1 is to 5.1, even if the proportion of foreigners in the country goes up to 33 per cent. If Singapore takes in no immigrants, there will be only about 2 working adults supporting each elderly person, by then.

Read the full article: Channel News Asia

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