The odd thing with 6.9


I’’ve been telling friends that 6.9m is a projection, based on what we have today and what we want to see, using assumptions of past trends and birth rates.

The logic of the projection, to me, is like that:-

1)      Fertility low, aging demographics, hence will strain country’s resource

More elderly to support in the long run by each young working adults from national viewpoint. Also pressures on healthcare and elderly friendly infrastructure putting pressures on social spending.

2)      Therefore, need immigrants to inject young working adults.

A friend of mine pointed out rightly that even if we give birth now, not in time to grow up, and burden the system even more cos all schooling and feeding on state resource.

3)      Immigrants will support workforce and contribute to taxes

We need taxes to fund social spending for people to age comfortably too.

4)      We targeted GDP growth at a modest rate

GDP target then used to estimate the workforce required to reach it, supplemented by FW and FT, assuming an overall reduced number by going high-end. Can’t be we target no growth or negative growth right…

5)      From there, derived the immigration numbers and projected population

And this shocked everyone, I wonder why..

Anyway, from the above, 3 things Govt should work on in the coming years:

1. Schemes for the aged

I feel the missing link is the assurance that GDP growth to be achieved thru this immigration influx, will be used to support our old with more targeted social support schemes.  These can be covered in Parliamentary debates and also policies for the next 5 years.

2. How to be more economically productive

If we don’t want so much growth in population, then we’ll hv to make it up with productivity.  6.9 can be avoided, if as a nation we become super productive with less people. Govt can also ensure we have schemes to promote that, and structure society to achieve that.

3. Infrastructural planning

If cannot avoid larger population, then Govt should give assurance that the infrastructure will be planned ahead to accomodate, and how.

So I urge everyone to stop getting hung up about 6.9. If we want Govt to listen, we have to start being worth listening to. Start by first understanding that 6.9 is not even a target! It hijacks all the discussions and ideas worthy of discussing.


  1. So… the majority of Singaporeans do not want our population to increase, and the government goes ahead with their plan for more massive increases.

    And it’s the people getting “hung up”, and the onus on them to “start being worth listening to”?

    We can call the National Conversation by any fancy name, but if its a one way street where the government sticks to doing whatever it wants then it’s not a conversation but an exercise in PR.

  2. I think the issue is that plenty Singaporeans are seeing the numbers with a “ceteris paribus” assumption – the assumption that all other things will remain constant. Of course, if you take the situation in Singapore as it is now and suddenly add in more people to bring the population up to 6.9 million life will not be very pleasant. However, if the government does its job, there is a strong possibility that we can accomodate that many people.

  3. Yep, I think the verdict is still out there whether this Govt can deliver of the vision of a vibrant and happy Spore, a place to age with dignity, and to call home.

  4. I think too many Singaporeans are just too paranoid. The easiest thing to do is to do nothing. Many of the government ministers may not be around come 2030. So why are they sticking their heads out to plan ahead for Singapore. It’s called Responsible Government. Look around and you will see why we are ahead of many nations with vast resources. It’s not that the Gods love us. It’s simply because the government is aware of our short comings and always plan ahead. Of course, we have to expect that sometimes the best plans can go awry but on balance, I think we have done incredibly well.

    In the 1960’s when the government promised the people that they will transform Singapore into a First World Nation, I was skeptical about the prospects because of the enormous problems we faced at that time. But look, they have delivered us and many countries are envious of our achievements. So, I would like to urge fellow Singaporeans to have faith in the government. We will survive and we will prosper.

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