Singapore plans for population growth include more expats

Published:  5 Feb at 6 PM
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The government of the crowded conurbation of Singapore is aiming to increase its population by 30 per cent over the next 17 years, with the bulk of the increase expected to be expats.

The city state is already home to a high percentage of arrivals from overseas, with expats making up 38 per cent of its population. Tensions are already surfacing amongst residents in the various districts, many of whom are claiming that immigrants are taking jobs away and causing property price rises.

Government plans for the increase state that, by 2030, the number of residents will rise to around 6.9 million from its present level of 5.3 million, bringing the total close to that of its rival Hong Kong. As Singapore’s birth rate is one of the lowest in the world, the projected expansion is expected to be fuelled by immigration.

Plans are in place for a doubling of the city’s rail network and the conversion of a number of golf courses to housing developments. A massive expansion of health care provisions is also in the planning stages, with two medical centres and five community hospitals expected to be completed by 2020.

The scheme is expected to maintain economic growth in the global financial hub, and is being implemented due to the government’s failure to reverse the falling birth statistics. Fears are surfacing that a shrinking pool of workers will result in a lack of the innovation and vibrancy which have contributed to the island’s success.

However, the scheme has attracted fierce criticism from indigenous residents, who claim that their quality of life will be eroded by overcrowding and a huge rise in the cost of living. Should the plan go ahead as announced, Singaporeans will have only a tiny majority of 55 per cent of the population.
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