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.
  • Trump's old military prep school looks overseas for renewal
    Trump's old military prep school looks overseas for renewal Associated Press - 9 minutes ago

    While Donald Trump talks tough about dealing with China, his old military prep school is building bridges to that country. The New York Military Academy began classes this fall with new Chinese backing ... … More »

  • Devil's in the details of OPEC deal as Asia buyers remain cautious Reuters - 16 minutes ago

    SINGAPORE/SEOUL (Reuters) - Asian crude oil buyers remained cautious, eyeing details of an OPEC deal after the oil-producers group agreed for the first time since 2008 to reduce output in an oversupplied market. Global oil prices (LCOc1)(CLc1) held … More »

  • Oil prices retreat as investors wait for clarity on OPEC deal Reuters - 17 minutes ago

    Oil futures retreated on Thursday as the market grew more sceptical on how OPEC would implement a plan to curb oil output a day after the group agreed to limit production. Benchmark prices had initially extended gains made in the previous session … More »

  • Energy-linked currencies lifted in Asia after OPEC deal AFP - 17 minutes ago

    Energy-linked currencies led a rally in high-yielding units Thursday after OPEC's surprise deal to cut oil output sent crude prices soaring. Officials at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, ... … More »

  • ICICI Pru Life shares fall on debut after $911 million IPO Reuters - 22 minutes ago

    MUMBAI (Reuters) - Shares in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co Ltd (ICIR.NS) fell as much as 1.8 percent in early trade on their market debut on Thursday after the company's $911 million initial public ... … More »

  • Key dates since Russian intervention in Syria
    Key dates since Russian intervention in Syria AFP News - 28 minutes ago

    Russia one year ago carried out its first air strikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, in a major turning point in a multi-sided civil war. A timeline: Start of Russian intervention - September 30, 2015: Russia, at the … More »

  • Gold steady as dollar sags after OPEC deal
    Gold steady as dollar sags after OPEC deal Reuters - 33 minutes ago

    Division between Federal Reserve policymakers on when to raise U.S. interest rates has sapped investor enthusiasm for trading on comments by officials from the central bank. The mixed views from U.S. Fed officials have weakened their credibility … More »

  • In Bali's deaf village, silence is golden
    In Bali's deaf village, silence is golden AFP News - 33 minutes ago

    It appears to be just another show on the Indonesian resort island, known for its ancient culture and rituals, but there is a key difference -- the dancers are all deaf and cannot hear the beat. The village of Bengkala has been home to an unusually … More »

  • China property tycoon warns on real estate bubble
    China property tycoon warns on real estate bubble AFP News - 51 minutes ago

    China's richest man, real estate magnate Wang Jianlin, has warned the country's property market is the "biggest bubble in history" -- the latest alarm bell to be sounded on the faltering giant economy. Wang, the owner of real estate and … More »

  • Relief arrives for U.S. shale firms as OPEC folds in price battle Reuters - 53 minutes ago

    It was a moment U.S. shale oil producers have been waiting on for more than two years: OPEC nations finally agreed to cut production on Wednesday in a move that lifted low prices ravaging their budgets. The agreement effectively establishes a floor … More »

  • Energy firms lead Asia market rally on OPEC deal
    Energy firms lead Asia market rally on OPEC deal AFP News - 55 minutes ago

    Energy firms led a rally in Asian stock markets Thursday, while high-yielding currencies advanced after OPEC's shock agreement to cut oil output sent crude prices soaring. The gains come after OPEC's "historic" announcement late Wednesday of a deal … More »

  • Spotify Brings Online Music Service to $3 Billion Japan Market Bloomberg - 58 minutes ago

    Spotify, the world’s largest music-subscription business, will offer a free, ad-supported service as well as an ad-free version for 980 yen ($9.70) per month, the company said at a press conference in Tokyo. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek, who … More »

  • Tokyo shares up by break as energy firms surge AFP - 59 minutes ago

    Energy firms soared in Tokyo Thursday, leading a Japanese stock market rally as oil prices were boosted by a surprise OPEC deal to cut crude production. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, ... … More »

  • A year of bombing in Syria stirs little debate in Russia
    A year of bombing in Syria stirs little debate in Russia AFP News - 1 hour 1 minute ago

    Veteran Russian opposition activist Sergei Davidis was among 300 people who showed up to a protest in Moscow against the start of the Kremlin's Syria bombing campaign. "As far as I know there haven't been any other events dedicated specifically to … More »

  • SE Asia Stocks-Up on oil price rally; Singapore hits near 3-wk high Reuters - 1 hour 18 minutes ago

    By Suhail Hassan Bhat Sept 29 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Thursday, in line with broader Asian shares, led by energy counters across the region as a rally in global oil prices after ... … More »

  • OPEC agrees modest oil output curbs in first deal since 2008 Reuters - 1 hour 19 minutes ago

    OPEC agreed on Wednesday modest oil output cuts in the first such deal since 2008, with the group's leader Saudi Arabia softening its stance on arch-rival Iran amid mounting pressure from low oil prices. "OPEC made an exceptional decision today ... … More »

  • Malaysia's closing tin prices for Sept 29 Reuters - 1 hour 19 minutes ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Following is a table of Kuala Lumpur tin market prices provided by a Malaysian trader. (Prices in $/tonne, and volumes in tonnes unless stated) Date KL Premium/ Spot Bid ... … More »

  • Energy shares lead Asian stocks higher on OPEC output deal
    Energy shares lead Asian stocks higher on OPEC output deal Associated Press - 1 hour 48 minutes ago

    Energy companies led a rally in Asian stock markets Thursday as investors welcomed news that OPEC nations planned to cut oil production for the first time in eight years in an effort to reduce a global ... … More »

  • Deutsche Bank Said to Face Hurdle Moving Huaxia Money From China Bloomberg - 1 hour 54 minutes ago

    The State Administration of Foreign Exchange is reviewing applications to move large amounts of money on a case-by-case basis and its focus is on preserving currency stability, people with knowledge of the matter said. One option the regulator has … More »

  • China Bubble Trouble Risks Missing Lessons from Japan Crash (1) Bloomberg - 1 hour 58 minutes ago

    While the two scenarios aren’t a carbon copy, similarities between China’s record credit boom in recent years and Japan’s bubble era have been made at various times by a number of economists and investors. Now, those voices are being heard more … More »

  • Carmaker expects to break even in 3 years Business Times - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    SHAH ALAM: Proton Holdings Bhd expects to break even in three years by selling 5,000 units of its all-new Proton Saga a month. If we can sell 5,000 units a month, we can break even in three years,” said chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fuaad … More »

  • DRB-HICOM looking at 5 proposals for Proton partnership Business Times - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    SHAH ALAM: DRB-HICOM Bhd has short-listed five global carmakers to be its subsidiary Proton Holdings Bhd’s strategic partner. Group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said the strategic partner would also own a stake in the national … More »

  • Petronas to review Canada project Business Times - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will review a proposed C$36 billion (RM112.4 billion) liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Canada that was approved by Ottawa after a three-year wait. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s … More »

  • Yuan Volatility Drops to Three-Week Low Before China Holidays Bloomberg - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    The yuan’s three-month implied volatility, which is used to price options, dropped three basis points to 4.89 percent as of 10:22 a.m. in Shanghai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The nation’s policy makers will try to maintain stability … More »

  • How You Can Get These 9 Irresistible Discounts Just By Being A Healthy Malaysian
    How You Can Get These 9 Irresistible Discounts Just By Being A Healthy Malaysian Vulcan Post - 2 hours 4 minutes ago

    If you practise a healthy lifestyle, you’re probably aware of the benefits such as a lowered risk of disease, feeling better about your appearance and reduced stress levels. However, thanks to a unique insurance and health programme, you can now … … 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