alarming state of Singapore’s ageing population

chart 4-7-16

Singapore’s labour force is ageing rapidly.

According to a report by Standard Chartered, estimably over 1 in 5 (22%) resident worker is aged 50 to 59. This is up from 17% a decade ago.

The report further interpolates that the expected resident population aged 20 to 64 using the current resident population and past trends. Assuming a stable population trend and constant participation rates, the labour force is likely to peak in 2020 to 2025 before decreasing after 2025.

However, the 20 to 29 as well as the 30 to 54 age groups are likely to peak from 2015 to 2020.

It may also be challenging to add more workers from the existing population. Singapore’s labour force participation rate was at its peak of 67% as of end-2014—it averaged 63.7% in the 1990s and 64.6% in the 2000s. The report notes the high rate is on back of increasing participation rates from female residents aged 50 to 59.

Moreover, it may also become more difficult to import labour given the ongoing infrastructure constraints as well as the lag in building infrastructure.


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