The Singapore government has recently released a white paper on population and it is interesting to compare how other countries are tackling the issue of falling birth rates, like hongkong, where this news article highlighted HK’s woes and constraints in importing foreigners.
Another asian city, Shanghai, is also facing population challenges as it grows, and as this news article points out, “The continual growing population overloads the city’s public services. Housing, education, health and other public services will face even more pressure.”
Not unlike these countries, Singapore has also felt the immense strain and pressure of a growing population (mostly through immigration), and in recent years we have seen great levels of dissatisfaction in the same domains of housing, education, health, and public services like transport where MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) trains have encountered major breakdowns (through poor maintenance and increased usage) and public bus drivers going on strike the first time in decades due to perceived poor treatment by their employer.
Like my fellow Singaporeans, I too feel the pressure of a higher population density in our tiny island state and going forward I will be comparing notes with other countries on how they make population planning policies for the benefit of their citizen’s overall welfare, not just for the country’s economic progress.
It is always not easy to navigate the murky waters of population policies, especially where numbers are required to sustain the economy.
Nevertheless first off, I’ll lay out the basic Singapore population statistics from the sources to look at the growth trend. In my further articles, I’d like to compare country policies in the area of immigration vs natural population growh.
According to wikipedia, Singapore’s population as at 1 July 2012 is at 5,312,400, ranked 116th worldwide, see here.
In 2010, Singapore’s population was at 5,076,700, ranked 117th worldwide, see here.
Cross referencing from Singapore’s Department of Statistics on Population Demographics, and going back, it looks like this:
2012 – 5.312 million
2011 – 5.183 million
2010 – 5.076 million
2005 – 4.265 million
2000 – 4.028 million
1990 – 3.047 million
1980 – 2.414 million
1970 – 2.075 million