SINGAPORE -- Singapore's population grew five percent in a year as foreign workers returned to the city-state following the pandemic, data released on Friday showed.
There were 5.9 million people in Singapore as of June, up from 5.6 million in June last year. Of these, 61 percent were Singaporeans, nine percent were permanent residents and 30 percent were foreigners working or studying in the country.
The bulk of the population increase came from foreign employment, with 162,000 foreign workers coming to Singapore from June 2022 to June this year.
The National Population and Talent Division said the largest increase came from workers in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors as contractors hired more workers for projects that were delayed by the pandemic.
The labour market has remained tight since the country dropped pandemic restrictions last April, with total employment at 3.8 percent above its pre-pandemic level in Q1 this year.
The economy grew 3.6 percent in 2022.
The government, however, expects growth to be sluggish this year. The ministry in August narrowed its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent this year from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent previously.
In 2020, Singapore's population shrank by two percent. It was the first time the population had fallen since the 1970s as 47,000 foreigners left amid strict COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions.
The population shrank further in 2021 as 147,000 foreign workers left Singapore, causing the population to drop to 5.45 million.