Singapore records first population contraction since 2003 hinh anh 1In Singapore (Photo: eastasiaforum)
Hanoi (VNA) – Singapore’s population has shrunk for the first time since 2003 as travel curbs and job losses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed foreign workers from the global business hub.

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./.