The man who is called the "architect of modern Singapore" tells CNBC that "Singapore must start planning for a population that could possibly hit 10 million".
But did you know that if rates of population increase continued unabated like those before GE 2011, the population in Singapore would hit 18 million by 2050, with the percentage of foreigners going up to 62%?
Chart Title: Immigration Policy, Labour Force Growth & Final Population Size
Source of Chart:
Prepared by Demographic Department, Institute of Policy Studies
Provided by Ex GIC chief economist Yeoh Lam Keong who worked under Goh Keng Swee
Different colored lines represent different rates of labour force (LF) growth
(1) At a LF growth rate of 3.5%, Singapore will hit 17.9M in 2050 (62% foreigners)
(2) At a LF growth rate of 3.0%, Singapore will hit 15.2M in 2050 (56% foreigners)
Scenarios (1) and (2) are closer to Singapore's historical LF growth rates from the 1950s to the decade before GE2011 or the so called "open floodgates".
(3) At a LF growth rate of 2.0%, Singapore will hit 11.1M in 2050 (39% foreigners)
(4) At a LF growth rate of 1.7%, Singapore will hit 10.0M in 2050 (33% foreigners)
Scenarios (3) and (4) are closer to Singapore's LF growth rates post GE 2011 or the so called "tightening" or "bottleneck is in manpower" as characterized by Lim Swee Say.
(5) At a LF growth rate of 0.5%, Singapore will hit 6.5M in 2050 (25% foreigners)
Scenario (5) is close to OECD/advanced economies LF growth rates of 0.3 to 0.5% eg Germany, Swizterland, Netherlands and Nordic countries etc.
A population of 10M by 2050 is the lower end, not the high or crazy/speculative end of the population projections, if the labour force growth rate is kept at 2016 and 2015 levels of 1.7 to 2.3% which resulted in anemic GDP growth rates of 2.0% and very dismal job creation.
To get higher +4% GDP growth, Singapore needs to go for scenarios (1) and (2) which will bring it to a population of 18M by 2050.
If not, be prepared for more economic stagnation at 2% GDP growth, even if the population increases to 10M from 2017 to 2050.