Singapore Census Data out for 2010

Some of you may remember that a census taker knocked on my door and interrogated me a while back.  Today I saw on Tiny Island’s blog that some of the census results are out.

The big data is that the current population is just over 5 million people.  Apparently only 3.8 million are actually Singaporean born.

I find it interesting that foreigners make up so much of the population.  In part, I often feel so alien here that it seems strange that my fellow immigrants are so populous.  I especially found the comments on the Straits Time article from the locals to be very interesting, because you don’t hear much rhetoric about immigration, as opposed to back home.

I find it fascinating to see people argue about Singaporean identity.  As there is no such thing as an “ethnic” Singaporean, I find it interesting to see what elements define “Singaporean.”  With Americans, I feel like our culture largely defines us (music, tv, movies, food).  In Singapore, so much of the pop culture is also imported, as is the food, that I struggle daily to define “Singaporean” even though I’m an outsider.

I was also surprised by how little other data was put out.  I was asked about work industry, religion, age, all sorts of things and population and origin seems to be the extent of the publication.  I’ve recently really begun to pick up on how many Christian churches are here, which I find surprising as so little of the population is actually Christian.  One of the biggest Christian populations are the Filipinna Maids…my helper shared with me that it’s easier to get work documents and be hired as a foreign domestic helper if you claim to be Baptist or Catholic (with an edge for the Baptists) and that plenty of women she’s known have joined that church purely for that purpose.  I was also curious to see what the birth rate was for Singapore as there seems to be a growing concern about that, and a push and incentives by the government for families to have more kids (my understanding is the the current population is a bit like an inverted pyramid).

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