In Singapore (Photo: eastasiaforum)
According to an annual population report, the overall population of this country dropped by about 18,000 people, or 0.3 percent, to 5.69 million.
A sharp drop in the number of foreigners, down 2 percent to 1.64 million, as well as a marginal fall in permanent residents, outweighed a modest rise in citizens, some of whom returned from overseas as the pandemic spread globally.
The report attributed these trends largely to COVID-19 related challenges, caused by weak demand and travel restrictions, citing job losses in services – a sector heavily reliant on foreign labourers.
As the economy faces the deepest recession in its history – an economic decline officially estimated between 5-7 percent for the year, the government has been raising barriers for foreign hiring to preserve jobs for locals.
Singapore's non-resident population has more than doubled over the last 20 years, powering population growth in a city-state with one of the world's lowest birth rates./.