Population White Paper

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A Sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore: Population White Paper (Chinese: 人口白皮书), or simply known as the Population White Paper (PWP), is a controversial white paper released by the government of Singapore in January 2013 that projects Singapore's population as 6.9 million by the year 2030.[1]


The PWP projects an increase of 1.6 million people from 2013, or an average of 100,000 more people in Singapore each year.[2] The PWP argued that up to 30,000 new permanent residents and 25,000 naturalized citizens each year are needed to sustain Singapore's population due to the falling birth rates in Singapore.[1]

It also justified immigration and presence of foreign workers as helping local businesses thrive and "create good jobs for Singaporeans".[3]

The PWP also included additional measures to encourage marriage and increase the birth rate. The motion was passed in Parliament to endorse the PWP by 77 votes to 13 (the 13 opponents included all members of the opposition and three nominated MPs),[4] albeit after amendments made to leave out "population policy" and add focus on infrastructure and transport development.[5]

Political reactions[edit]

Several parties opposing the PWP have taken it to be a targeted increase of Singapore's population to 6.9 million.[2][4] Citizens reacted to the PWP with shock and anger,[6][7] and this has led to the largest public protest ever organized in Singapore's history.[8][2][9] In an 8 February 2013 speech in support of the White Paper, Prime Minister Lee said that he expected the 2030 population to be "significantly below" the 6.9 million figure, but that 6 million would not be enough, because of the declining birth rate and the needs of aging people.[4]


Many Singaporeans have attributed the government's population and immigration policy as the cause of overcrowding and falling reliability of its public transportation system, increasing property prices for housing, suppressed wage level, increased competition for jobs (especially for professionals, managers, executives and technicians[10][11]) and education, increasing income inequality and other social problems.[12][13][14][15][16] Academics have also criticized the PWP as being "overly mechanistic, economically simplistic and astonishingly sociologically and politically naive".[9] The PWP has become one of the largest political issues raised in the 2015 general elections.[17][18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adam, Shamim (29 January 2013). "Singapore Projects 6.9 Million Population as Neighbors Catch Up". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Tan, Heather (17 February 2013). "Singapore seethes over popping power plan". Text "acSeptember 2015" ignored (help)
  3. ^ A Sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore: Population White Paper, p. 31-32
  4. ^ a b c "Parliament endorses population White Paper by 77 votes to 13". Yahoo! News. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ Amended motion on white paper adopted; 6.9 million is not a target. The Straits Times. 9 February 2013.
  6. ^ "SMS Tan's Speech at the Parliamentary Debate on the Population White Paper". Ministry of National Development. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ Sim, Fann (30 January 2013). "Fury over 6.9 million population target for Singapore". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Rare mass rally over Singapore immigration plans". BBC News. 16 February 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b Tan, Jeanette (27 November 2013). "Population White Paper triggers nationwide debate". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Opposition, PAP must find common ground for good of the country: SDP's Chee Soon Juan". Channel NewsAsia. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  11. ^ "SDA unveils manifesto, calling for a 'Singapore for Singaporeans'". Channel NewsAsia. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Singapore tightens rules for hiring foreigners". The China Post. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  13. ^ Boh, Samantha (19 April 2012). "Job bias against Singaporeans the top complaint". my paper. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Singapore to further curb foreign worker inflow". AFP. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  15. ^ Seah, Chiang Nee (24 March 2012). "Talent buy becomes sore point". The Star (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  16. ^ Shaffer, Leslie (23 January 2014). "British banker stirs up storm by mocking Singapore's 'poor'". CNBC. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  17. ^ Zi Liang, Chong (4 September 2015). "GE 2015: WP's East Coast candidates take on hot-button issues at Nee Soon rally". Straits Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  18. ^ Yi Han, Lim (4 September 2015). "Words, not photos, for some opposition parties' posters". Straits Times. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  19. ^ Lee, Amanda (5 September 2015). "SDA's list of grievances: CPF, population, educational system". Today (newspaper). Retrieved 6 September 2015.

External links[edit]