Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on the Nationality of Singapore's Permanent Resident Pool, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 05 July 2021


Mr Pritam Singh:
To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) what is the numerical breakdown by nationality of Singapore's permanent resident (PR) pool from each of the top 20 countries and further sub-divided by gender; and (b) of these top 20 nationalities, how many individuals have remained as PRs for the last 10 and 20 years respectively and have not applied for citizenship at least once.


1.   Our Permanent Resident (PR) population is about 45% male and 55% female.

2.   We do not publish breakdowns of our PR population by nationality. Doing so may have implications on specific groups of PRs and create bilateral sensitivities with their country of origin. A large number of the PRs come from our geographically nearest neighbours. Given our history, it has been our assessment that releasing the data of country of origin of our PRs will both create negative sensitivities with other countries; and may affect the flow of PRs from such countries.

3.   However, the broad regions where our PRs come from can be found in the annual Population In Brief publications. In the Population in Brief 2020, which reports on the PR grants in 2019, about 60% of the persons granted PR were from Southeast Asia, followed by about 34% from other Asian countries, and the remaining 6% from other countries.

4.   Our immigration policy is carefully calibrated, and we have kept the size of our PR population stable at around half a million for a number of years. About 58% of them have been PRs for 10 years or more, and 18% have been PRs for 20 years or more.

5.   PRs contribute to Singapore’s economy and society in many ways. Many are also spouses of Singaporeans and parents of Singaporean children. Many go on to apply for our citizenship, and and some are eventually granted. We are very strict to whom we grant citizenship.