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‘Singapore needs 30k immigrants a year’

Singapore needs to take in 30,000 immigrants a year to support its economic growth.

Written by Agencies | Singapore | Published: May 3, 2012 4:18:01 pm

Singapore needs to take in 30,000 immigrants a year to support its economic growth and offset the impact of the slowdown caused by the ageing local population,a study on the city state’s demography has said.

The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) research concluded that Singapore would have to take in 30,000 new citizens or permanent residents every year if the country’s total fertility rate remained at 1.24.

The study included those in Singapore on work permits,long-term social visit passes and foreign students.

The study said that a higher non-resident population would mean a larger total population of 6.8 million in 2030,if the proportion of foreigners in the population is raised to 33 per cent.

The city state’s current population is 5 million.

If immigrants were not allowed,Singapore would have only about two working adults supporting each elderly person by 2030,reported the Channel News Asia today,citing the IPS study.

With more foreigners in the mix in the local population,there would still be fewer Singaporeans supporting the elderly,it said,cautioning that the problem would be

exacerbated without taking in migrants.

According to the study,Singapore’s labour force would be hit,with or without foreigners. The annual growth in labour force would dip from the average 3.6 per cent which Singapore has been enjoying since the 1970s.

The number of foreigners entering Singapore was based on three scenarios — foreigners’ proportion in the local population at 25 per cent or one in four,20 per cent or one in five and 33 per cent or one in three,according to the study.

The labour force growth,in the current one in four foreigners status,would grow by 1.04 per cent over the next 10 years while with a scenario of one in three foreigners it would grow at 2.47 per cent a year.

The IPS study and a similar one by the National Population and Talent Division last week would form the basis of a national discussion on population issues that would culminate in a white paper to be released by the end of the year,according to the report.

The white paper on population would set out issues important to Singaporeans and map out strategies for a sustainable population.

It would cover areas such as housing,transport and land use,it reported.

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