Singapore now has 5.07 million people. But the population is growing more slowly – by 1.8 per cent this year, down from 3.1 per cent last year – with fewer new permanent residents and a lower intake of other foreigners. Several Asian countries have even lower growth rates, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and India.
The number of Singapore permanent residents has gone up by just 1.5 per cent to 541,000 this year, after an 11.5 per cent increase last year. There are now 1.3 million non-resident foreigners, up 4.1 per cent this year after a 4.8 per cent increase last year and an astounding 19 per cent jump in 2007.
The Singaporean population has grown only 0.9 per cent to 3.23 million after a 1.1 per cent rise last year. China's population (1.33 billion) has an even lower growth rate (0.5 per cent in 2008 and 2009 ) and so does Hong Kong (population 7 million after 0.4 per cent growth in 2008 and 0.7 per cent in 2009). Taiwan's population (23.8 million) increased only 0.4 per cent and South Korea's (48.7 million) just 0.3 per cent in both 2008 and 2009 while Thailand's (63.9 million) went up by merely 0.7 per cent in 2008 and 0.6 per cent in 2009.