Future of Cities: Singapore’s New Faces

Big changes have taken place not just in the Singapore physical and economic environment in the last 25 years. The city-state’s population has undergone a dramatic change too.


Only 61% of the 5.7 million people who live in Singapore are citizens, down from 86% in 1990. This puts Singapore with among the highest levels of immigrants in the world, certainly for a somewhat larger country. The UN puts the immigrant count at 43% of the population.

The ethnic composition of the core resident population has stayed largely constant with 75% ethnic Chinese, 13% Malay and 9% Indian.


However the origin of this population is changing.


The number of Chinese born in China now resident in Singapore has halved in percentage terms.

The Future of Cities discussed the ongoing tensions in the changing face of Singapore which are compounded by its low birth rate and strong desire for external migration to maintain growth and innovation.


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