Singapore population sees biggest percentage drop since 1950

FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks cross a road amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Caroline Chia

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's population size this year saw its sharpest percentage drop since 1950, a report said on Tuesday, as coronavirus-induced travel restriction kept foreigners away from the Asian financial hub.

It was the second consecutive year the city-state saw its population shrink and only the third time it had negative growth since 1950, according to an official annual population report.

The total population, which includes foreigners who live, work and study in Singapore but are not permanent residents, dropped by 4.1% to 5.45 million people.

That was largely as a result of a 10.7% decrease in its non-resident population.

Similar to other developed nations, Singapore has been experiencing a dwindling birth rate and ageing population.

The government has offered one-off payment to encourage Singaporeans to have children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Martin Petty)

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