by Savitha C Muppala on  September 2, 2010 at 3:07 PM Lifestyle News
 The Population of Singapore Has Crossed Five Million
Singapore's population is much more than five million this year with more than one-third of them being foreigners, revealed the statistics department.

The city-state's total population stood at 5.08 million people at the end of June, it said in a statement.

Of the number, 3.23 million are citizens, 540,000 are foreigners with permanent residency and 1.3 million are foreign professionals and workers along with their dependents, resulting in a 36 percent share for foreigners in the general population.

The population growth rate was 1.8 percent in 2010, reflecting a slowdown in the number of permanent residents and foreign workers being admitted into the country, the department said.

The number of permanent residents rose by 1.5 percent, down from at least six percent growth per year between 2005 and 2009, it said.

Growth in the number of non-residents, or those on professional employment passes and shorter-term work permits, slowed to 4.1 percent, off from peaks of 15 percent in 2007 and 19 percent in 2008, it added.

Because Singaporeans have not been producing enough babies, the government had for years rolled out the welcome mat for foreigners, whose numbers rose drastically during the economic boom from 2004 to 2007.

But after the 2008 global financial crisis, the government has taken a fresh look at its open-door policy following complaints from citizens that foreigners are competing for jobs, housing and medical care.

Singapore, which polls well in global surveys for quality of life, is also showing symptoms of urban stress, with rush-hour traffic gridlock, packed subway trains and recent cases of flash floods in some areas.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the problems in a speech on Sunday and vowed to review immigration policies, cap new foreign hiring this year and enhance benefits accorded to citizens.

Source: AFP

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