According to the latest census data, Singapore's total population shrank by 4.1 per cent to 5.45 million in June 2021, largely due to a fall in non-resident numbers amidst the COVID-19 travel restrictions, indicating the sharpest fall since the government began collecting such data in 1970.
The fall in the non-resident population was because of a decrease in foreign employment owing to travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and an uncertain economic climate, a report read.
Both citizen and permanent resident (PR) populations saw year-on-year declines for the first time since the Government began collecting such data in 1970, said the National Population and Talent Division, which publishes the annual Population in Brief report.
Specifically, the number of citizens fell by 0.7 per cent to 3.5 million, while PR numbers dropped 6.2 per cent to 490,000.
Travel restrictions during the pandemic was the main factor affecting the size of the citizen and PR population in 2021, as more citizens and PRs were staying overseas continuously for 12 months or more, who therefore were not counted as part of the resident population, the National Population and Talent Division said.
Fewer people became new citizens or PRs last year, likely due to travel restrictions and operational limitations arising from COVID-19, it added.
The non-resident population saw the largest drop of 10.7 per cent to hit 1.47 million.
The decrease was seen across all pass types, with the largest drop in work permit holders in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors, said the channel report.
Singapore's citizen population is also continuing to grow, with the median age rising from 42.2 years in 2020 to 42.5 years this year.
The proportion of seniors aged 65 and above is rising, and at a faster pace than the last decade, as large cohorts of baby boomers have begun joining this age group, the report said.
Overall, the proportion of seniors has increased from 10.4 per cent in 2011 to 17.6 per cent in 2021.
This proportion is expected to increase to about 23.8 per cent in 2030, the report said.