Expatriates could make up to fifty percent of Singapore’s population by the year 2030 if plans announced by the government last Tuesday go ahead.
The Singapore government have announced that they plan on significantly increasing the number of foreigners living in Singapore over the next 10 years in a bid to boost the number of people living and working in the country.
The controversial plans, which were disclosed in a white paper on population, the government revealed that new immigration measures were important as a means of dealing with low birth rates in the nation. The paper, which was released by the National Population and Talent Division indicated that the government hope to achieve a total population of between 6.5 and 6.9 million people by the year 2030, 50 percent of which would be made up of foreigners. This is a marked increase on the current population of 5.1 million.
While would-be expatriates may welcome the news, the announcement has sparked furious reactions from many of Singapore’s citizens, who argue that the island state is already overcrowded and that the country is in danger of losing its identity. On the Singapore Straits Times website, one local commented: “This white paper from the government is a betrayal to local born Singaporean(s).”
Although many of Singapore’s citizens have publicly declared their rejection of the plans amid concerns of overcrowding, rising house prices and the strain on public resources, the government argue that Singapore’s current fertility rate of 1.20 children per woman last year was far below the 2.1 needed to sustain the native population. Alluding to this, the white paper that was published last week said: “We do not expect our TFR to improve to the replacement rate of 2.1 in the short term. Taking in younger immigrants will help us top up the smaller cohorts of younger Singaporeans, and balance the ageing of our citizen population.
“To stop our citizen population from shrinking, we will take in between 15 000 and 25 000 new citizens each year.”
The study acknowledged the concerns of the locals and the white paper included plans to expand transport networks and build more public housing.