Singapore's numbers have risen to nearly 4.7 million amid an intensive drive to attract migrants to address the city-state's ageing population and baby shortage, figures showed Friday.
The figure represents a 4.4 percent year-on-year rise to 4.68 million in June, including one million foreigners who work here, according to the department of statistics website.
AdvertisementSingapore's resident population, including those granted permanent residence (PR) status, totalled 3.68 million, it said.
Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, who is also in charge of population issues, told the Straits Times newspaper that 46,900 foreigners were granted PRs in the first nine months of the year. A total of 57,300 foreigners were granted PRs in 2006, he said.
Regarding concerns by Singaporeans who fear competition for jobs from newcomers, Wong, who is also home affairs minister, said: "Our challenge is not the number of jobs available; it is (that) we do not have enough people to match the current rate of job creation."
Singapore has embarked on an aggressive drive to attract immigrants to avert a serious population shortage as efforts to encourage people to have more children failed.
According to the statistics department, 1.26 babies were born per woman in 2006, well below the fertility rate of 2.1 needed for the population to grow again.
Singapore has said its long-term economic future will be at risk if it fails to properly address its baby shortage and ageing population.
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