In 2015, Singapore's population consisted of close to 3.4
million Singaporean citizens and just over half a million
without citizenship but with a permanent residence permit
and an additional 1.6 million non-residents. Four-fifths of
these had work permits, while the remainder were
accompanying family members or students.
Countryaah, the permanent population consists mainly of three ethnic
groups. The largest group, about 75 percent, are Chinese.
Malaysians originating in Malaysia or Indonesia make up 13
percent while people from India and other parts of South
Asia, including Burma, make up 9 percent.
In recent decades, the birth surplus in the Singaporean
portion of the population has become smaller. Especially in
Chinese and Indian families, birth rates are low.
Periodically, the total population has nevertheless
increased significantly as a result of large immigration
from many countries in South and Southeast Asia, mainly from
Indonesia and the Philippines. The proportion of guest
workers in the population has therefore increased, a change
that some Singaporeans in the 2010s began to question. Since
2012, the government has tightened the rules for obtaining
work permits, and the Singapore population growth rate has
slowed from 2.1 percent in 2012 to 1.2 percent in 2015.
Singapore is among the countries in the world where life
expectancy is the longest (close to 81 years for men and 85
years for women). The rising longevity and the low birth
rates mean that an increasing proportion of the permanent
population is found at high ages.
Singapore now consists of a single contiguous urban area
and the entire population is designated as urban.
For information on life expectancy and other demographic
statistics, see Country facts.
There are four official languages: English, Chinese,
Malay and Tamil. Approximately 75% of the population speak
Chinese (mainly minority) as mother tongue, 15% Malay and 7%
Indian language, mainly Tamil. English is the administrative
and school language.
Singapore is a religious pluralistic society, where
Chinese people's religion, Buddhism and Daoism are half the
population. In addition to Hindu and Sikh minorities (2010)
there are about 14 percent Muslims and 19 percent
Christians. In addition, a growing group that claims to be