chapter  2
9 Pages

Singapore’s ageing population: the demographic profile

Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has experienced dramatic changes in its demographic trends. From a population of 2 million in 1970, the small city-state with a land area of 699 km2 has more than doubled its population to 4.2 million in 2004 (DOS 2005a). The increase has been accompanied by the demographic transformation of a young population with high fertility and high mortality to an ageing one with low fertility and low mortality. This is reflected in the age pyramid which over the past three decades has advanced from a bottom heavy to a middle heavy one as the post-war baby boomers enter their forties and fifties (Figure 2.1). The median age of the country’s population has risen from 20 years in 1970 to 24.4 years in 1980 and further to 35.7 years in 2003 (DOS 2005a: 47). This chapter provides an overview of the demography of ageing in Singapore, outlining the dynamic changes to be expected by the baby boomers as they move up the age pyramid.