With Singapore's total population set to be lower than 6 million by 2020, and "significantly" lower than 6.9 million by 2030, immigrants are needed to prevent the long-term shrinking of the population.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo touched on the issue yesterday, Thursday, Mar 1.
With the current rate of immigration, Singapore is “close to achieving the same effect as if we had full-replacement Total Fertility Rate (TFR, of 2.1),
” Teo said. “Therefore, we do not expect any major changes to our immigration policy presently.”
She added that the number of working-age Singaporeans (aged 20 to 64) is expected to peak at 2.2 million around 2020 and decline thereafter. From now till 2020, however, workforce growth is expected to slow about one to teo percent each year. While this might be significantly lower than that in the past, the figure projects a "more sustainable pace going forward," Teo said.
Workforce growth will slow to about 1 to 2 per cent every year from now till 2020 – significantly less than in the past but “a more sustainable pace going forward”, she said.
“We are selective about the profile of our immigrants, because it affects how we grow a strong national identity. This is why we prioritise not only those who can contribute, but those who are also prepared to sink roots in Singapore, and can integrate well here.”