How can Singapore increase the size of its population?
There are two choices for a country if it wants to increase its population. It can allow more immigration or it can try to persuade its residents to have more children.
Allowing immigration is the more foolproof way to increase population. A country like Singapore that is so affluent compared to its neighbors tends to have plenty of people who would like to immigrate. The potential problem with this is that immigrants might be poor and/or might lack skills that would help Singapore's economy. They might also change the ethnic balance in Singapore. Both of these might be concerns to some.
Encouraging the citizens to have more children is more difficult. Typically, this is done by offering tax breaks for those who have children or by offering such people things like subsidized child care. This is a good choice because it is more likely to create population growth from people who are already a good fit with Singapore. However, it might not work because people simply might not want more children, regardless of the incentives offered.
Singapore is expecting a rise in their population and the country's planners are already laying the groundwork to accommodate the increase. Housing, recreation, land transport and future economical needs are being developed based on the new population estimates. Based on its previous target of 5.5 million, its previous plans would not be sufficient to accommodate the people. So do expect some major changes to happen in an effort to ensure that there are sufficient resources for Singapore's residents. There has not been a confirmation on when the target of 6.5 million will be reached. The demographics of the people who would make up those numbers have no been released as well. The population has rose from a mere 3.9 million to 4.5 million over the past 6 years. The people who make this increase possible includes foreigners who arrive in Singapore for work and study. If this trend holds, an increase to the project 6.5 million can possibly be met within the next 20 years.
With the in flux of foreigners, many Singaporeans are worried that there would be an imbalance. Most of them are open to having more foreigners in the country but many believe that citizens should first and foremost receive priority when it comes to public sector resources. Nonetheless, these improvements to the country's infrastructure is beneficial not only for Singaporeans themselves, but also for foreigners looking to make a home here.
The estimated rise would definitely result in a high demand for housing. Within the next 2 to 5 years, the older housing board estates will go through a "total urban regeneration" programme. The older estates will be revamped and are more likely to be more dense to accommodate the in flux of people. Newer and more improved facilities will also be installed such as lushly landscaped car parks, sky gardens, an upgrade in transportation and pedestrian links as well as water and energy saving features. Plans for this upgrade are currently in the concept phase and more details will be released later this year.
The transport ministry is also reviewing its road and rail networks. A comprehensive study is being done to ensure that there is enough to go around in terms of transportation, both public and private. Discussions for a new 33 station downtown link are underway and this downtown line aims to connect Marina Bay to the residential areas in the North West and the East.