6.9 Million People in Singapore: How Will It Affect You?

Heard the news? By 2030, there might be 6.9 million people in Singapore. It’d be inhumane to grow bacteria under conditions that cramped, let alone people. But no use dodging facts: Our immigration policies remain looser than a hooker’s pants, and we’ll be packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the coming years. Here’s our (strictly unofficial) take on how it’s likely to affect you:


Look, a rare native Singaporean. That one guy, in the far back.


What’s This About 6.9 Million Singaporeans?

A recent white paper, by the government’s panel of experts, estimates up to 6.9 million people in Singapore by 2030.

According to the current administration, this isn’t an intended goal but a worst case scenario. So you can relax. That means they’re doing what any rational person would do: Make drastic cut-backs to prevent the…oh wait. No. They’re just planning to accommodate 6.9 million people “if” the time comes.

To be clear: We don’t want it, we’re just seem to be preparing really hard for it.

That’ uh, kind like if you’re worried about being mugged, so you bring an extra $50 to accommodate whoever robs you. That said, there are some good and bad effects:


1. Great for Small Business Owners



I don’t charge by weight, not since we hit 6.9 million. Now get in line and bid for my lobster platter.


Here are the ways a bigger population can be bad for business:

That’s not a typo.

It won’t ever be bad for business, is what I’m saying. At the simplest level, bigger population = more potential customers. In addition, it means a bigger talent pool of employees, as well as access to cheaper employees.

Businesses that benefit most directly from a population surge are:

  • Retail
  • Food & Beverage
  • Anything Property Related
  • Financial Services
  • Some Forms of Private Education (Explained below)

Note: Benefits directly. Almost every other business will also benefit, just not as immediately as these.

Did I mention it even makes sales easier?

If a single neighbourhood clusters 50,000 residents, you can direct your marketing to all of them in one localized spot. It also means that small shops can count on heavier foot traffic, even in less mature estates. Overall, a good deal for small business owners.


2. We Can’t Afford NOT To Be Picky About Jobs


Worker? I’m a RESIDENT. My roof was done by budget construction.


When it comes to manual labour, which do you think big companies are more inclined to do:

  1. Struggle to innovate new processes and raise productivity, in hopes of paying blue collar workers more whilst raising profit
  2.  Discover management has two brain cells between them, be unable to innovate, and instead raise profits by firing labourers and hiring cheaper ones

If you answered anything besides option 2, I suggest you seek a cure for this condition.

When it comes to blue collar jobs, few companies bother innovating. It’s easier to hire a cheaper janitor than to invent new ways of scrubbing floors.

That’s why NIKE uses Indonesian workers, and Apple assembles stuff in China: They don’t have to use pricey American labour, and then “innovate” to stay competitive.

With the presence of a bigger and cheaper labour pool, Singaporeans with replaceable skill sets (drivers, cleaners, loaders, etc.) will need to upgrade. It’s no longer about being picky, it’s about survival.

Nor is it entirely restricted to blue collar workers.

Over time, we’ll have better qualified non-locals. These will compete with us in fields like IT, finance, media, etc. So the bigger the population grows, the more we’ll need to build those skill sets.


3. Property Costs Will Rise


Glass towers

Oh wait. For $2 million you thought you’d be living INSIDE the actual building?


As population density increases, property values will rise. It’s a no-brainer.

The more people we have, the higher the collective demand for living space. And since foreigners can’t buy BTO flats, it means private properties and resale flats can only rise in value.

Don’t start celebrating yet. Remember that “rise in value” pretty much means “rise in cost”, for those of you who want to upgrade one day.

Overcrowding also bodes well for landlords: Some foreigners can’t afford a house in Singapore, not during their initial years here. As the numbers of this group will rise, landlords won’t need to worry about vacancies.

Landlords who cater to this new influx will be buying in non-central regions (If someone can’t afford a house, they can’t afford a luxury condo in District 9). Along with the development of estates like Punggol and Jurong West, the non-central regions will probably continue to see the biggest gains.

For more on these developments, follow us on Facebook.

Then there are the rich immigrants. They don’t have to rent, so they’re of no use to landlords. But they can afford to pay absurd prices, which means high capital gains for resale units. We may have to extend the SSD (Seller’s Stamp Duty), if house flipping becomes viable again.

Overall, a bigger population ensures a property peak higher than the last. I don’t know how the next cooling measure will work, short of the stamp duty involving human sacrifice.


4. Private Education Issues


“And we’ll ballot to see who’s homework gets marked, all 200 of you in my class.”


There are already complaints that Polytechnics, Universities, even neighbourhood schools, have too many foreigners.

There hasn’t been much response to this, beyond raised school fees for non-locals. But let’s put this in context: This is a country where people buy a house just to improve the odds of getting into certain schools. Parents get into actual fistfights over school placement.

Singaporeans not getting the schools they want is a powder keg. I don’t know who’s in charge, but that guy’s sitting on a live grenade with the pin pulled. Expect some upheaval, when non-locals start taking Singaporean places in our schools.

Also we barely have enough teachers now, let alone for a population spike. The probable teacher – student ratio in 2030 is likely to be 1 : Too Damn Many

And all this is why you’d do well to open a tuition centre.

Crammed schools mean students get limited attention, and will flock to private tuition or enrichment. At the tertiary level, students who can’t get into a University or Poly (due to lack of space) will probably turn to private colleges.

In particular, we may see a strong market for ESL (English as Second Language) courses. Some new arrivals might prefer low cost options, like conversational English classes at a Community Centre; so there’s some side-income potential there.


5. Transport Issues Will Get Worse


cars in traffic

Lift? No thanks, I’ll walk. I’m in a hurry.


I don’t even have to go into detail on this, do I?

The MRT is more prone to breakdowns, buses are packed, and COE prices are insane. That’s right now, with a population of around 5 million. Take it to 6.9 million, and we’ll be super-gluing ourselves to the outside of train carriages for short trips.

At the very least, we can expect a serious review of the COE system. There’s no way we can keep bearing the cost of direct bidding. As more immigrants come in, competition for COEs will intensify. This is compounded by the fact that car numbers are capped lower than immigration.

And as for cab companies…they’ll be able to raise prices with impunity. So at the very least, start making some noise (at your workplace) about transport allowance.
Image Credits:
beggs, variationblogr, petrr, Denis Bocquet, elemenous, epSos.de

How do you think having 6.9 million people will affect us? Comment and let us know!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.

More From MoneySmart


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
  • PharMerica beats 4Q profit forecasts Associated Press - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    The Louisville, Kentucky-based company said it had net income of 25 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 58 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. ... … More »

  • BRIEF-Tdm says Jan fresh fruits bunches production 33,144.23 MT Reuters - 1 hour 30 minutes ago

    Feb 24 (Reuters) - Tdm Bhd * Jan fresh fruits bunches production 33,144.23 mt, crude palm oil production 5,849.54 mt, palm kernel production 1,597.45 mt Source ( http://bit.ly/2lzDSOU ) Further company ... … More »

  • Ellen, Wal-Mart give scholarships to school's senior class
    Ellen, Wal-Mart give scholarships to school's senior class Associated Press - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    Ellen DeGeneres has handed out college scholarships to the entire senior class of a New York City charter school. DeGeneres surprised the 41 students from Brooklyn's Summit Academy this week at her California ... … More »

  • China, France overtake US as top German trade partners
    China, France overtake US as top German trade partners Associated Press - 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    New statistics show that China and France have overtaken the U.S. as Germany's largest trading partners. Germany's Federal Statistical Office reported Friday that trade between the country and China in ... … More »

  • Bitcoin is hovering near all-time highs
    Bitcoin is hovering near all-time highs Business Insider - 1 hour 41 minutes ago

    Reuters/Bobby Yip Bitcoin on Friday pulled back slightly … Continued The post Bitcoin is hovering near all-time highs appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

  • Gold hits 3-1/2-month high as 'Trumpflation trade' fades
    Gold hits 3-1/2-month high as 'Trumpflation trade' fades Reuters - 1 hour 42 minutes ago

    Gold hit its highest in about 3-1/2 months on Friday as the dollar headed for its first week of decline in three after the new U.S. finance chief poured cold water on the "Trumpflation trade" that had boosted the greenback this year. Treasury … More »

  • Telkom Said to Mull Purchase of Cell C Debt in Ownership Bid (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 43 minutes ago

    Cell C creditors approached Telkom to help reorganize debt that includes 640 million euros ($677 million) of bonds maturing in July 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. Telkom, whose attempts to … More »

  • BASF's fourth-quarter operating profit boosted by higher petrochemical prices Reuters - 1 hour 44 minutes ago

    Germany's BASF (BASFn.DE), the world's largest chemicals group by sales, forecast a rebound in earnings this year after higher petrochemical prices boosted profits in the final three months of 2016. The company, whose products include catalytic … More »

  • Bundesbank official warns London banks against post-Brexit tricks
    Bundesbank official warns London banks against post-Brexit tricks Reuters - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    UK-based banks that want to operate across the European Union after Brexit must set up genuine operations, not 'empty shells' in EU countries, a Bundesbank official said on Friday. Andreas Dombret, the Bundesbank board member responsible for … More »

  • J.C. Penney to Shut as Many as 140 Stores as Industry Slumps (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 50 minutes ago

    The closings represent as much as 14 percent of the company’s store base and less than 5 percent of total sales, J.C. Penney said Friday. J.C. Penney’s plan echoes rival Macy’s Inc.’s announcement last year that it would shut about 100 of its … More »

  • Standard Chartered shares fall as it withholds dividend but lifts bonuses Reuters - 1 hour 51 minutes ago

    LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Standard Chartered (STAN.L) shares fell as much as 5 percent on Friday as the British bank said it would not pay a dividend for 2016 due to restructuring costs, but increased its staff bonus pool by 5 percent. The bonus … More »

  • BRIEF-Borneo Oil bhd updates on January production Reuters - 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    Feb 24 (Reuters) - Borneo Oil Bhd: * Jan ores mined 48,936.80 mt , Jan production of gold dore 72.54 oz Source text: Further company coverage: … More »

  • PSEG reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Newark, New Jersey-based company said it had a loss of 19 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 54 cents per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. ... … More »

  • Harsco reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    On a per-share basis, the Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based company said it had a loss of 19 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 16 cents per share. The industrial services company ... … More »

  • E.W. Scripps beats Street 4Q forecasts Associated Press - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    The Cincinnati-based company said it had profit of 46 cents per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for ... … More »

  • Exit by Polish Top Brass Guts Command on NATO Front Line (2) Bloomberg - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    With the government moving to rid institutions of officials appointed by the former ruling Civic Platform party, which it defeated in 2015 elections, 90 percent of the General Staff leadership and more than 80 percent of the army’s top brass have … More »

  • Portugal could exit excessive deficit in spring - EU's Dombrovskis Reuters - 2 hours 6 minutes ago

    Portugal is set to exit the EU excessive deficit procedure if the European Commission confirms its latest forecasts for this year and next in a new assessment in the spring, a top EU official said on Friday. Lisbon says it cut the budget deficit … More »

  • EHealth reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 11 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Mountain View, California-based company said it had a loss of 91 cents. Losses, adjusted for stock option expense and amortization costs, came to 79 cents per share. The results ... … More »

  • China overtakes US as Germany's top trade partner AFP - 2 hours 13 minutes ago

    China overtook the United States last year to become Germany's biggest trading partner for the first time, official data showed, a shift likely to reassure Berlin as worries grow over US President Donald ... … More »

  • Calgon reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 25 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the Moon Township, Pennsylvania-based company said it had a loss of 12 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 5 cents per share. The results fell short of Wall Street ... … More »

  • Global stocks fall amid Trump trade policy concerns
    Global stocks fall amid Trump trade policy concerns Associated Press - 2 hours 26 minutes ago

    Global stocks fell Friday amid worries about the potential impact of U.S. trade policies and as investors became more cautious about the market's recent rally. KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 slumped 1.4 ... … More »

  • Will the legend of Nokia 3310 see its comeback?
    Will the legend of Nokia 3310 see its comeback? International Business Times - 2 hours 27 minutes ago

    Nokia 3310 is truly a legendary phone that deserves a revival from HMD Global. … More »

  • IStar reports 4Q loss Associated Press - 2 hours 27 minutes ago

    On a per-share basis, the New York-based company said it had a loss of 27 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 4 cents per share. The commercial real estate finance company posted ... … More »

  • Scomi records RM6.17m net loss Business Times - 2 hours 36 minutes ago

    KUALA LUMPUR: Scomi Group Bhd has recorded its third consecutive quarter in the red, with a net loss of RM6.17 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 on falling revenue and profit. The company was in the red mainly due to the almost 90 per … More »

  • China steams past U.S., France to be Germany's biggest trading partner Reuters - 2 hours 40 minutes ago

    China for the first time became Germany's most important trading partner in 2016, overtaking the United States, which fell back to third place behind France, data showed on Friday. German imports from and exports to China rose to 170 billion euros … More »

Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
to view quotes in your portfolios.


  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg

Market Data

  • Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change