Ever looked around you and thought, “that’s a lot of foreigners”?

Well you’re right.

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So you might probably be wondering why you should even bother with the rest of this article.

That’s why we’re here to give you reason to.

Boring statistics reveal colourful facts about SG

First, let’s get to the actual numbers.

In 2013, The United Nations studied international migration data from 232 countries, and compiled all of that into a global leader board so that we can compare who houses more migrants.

(Note: The UN defines ‘migrants’ to be anyone who temporarily or permanently lives in a country they didn’t originate from. This definition leads to a slightly higher migrant percentage than if we were to add up only permanent and non-resident numbers from local data in 2013.)

The world rankings:


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We’re not top 10, let that sink in

Wait. We’re not number 1?

It’s interesting that Singapore isn’t even in the top 10. This gives you something to think about before using the words “too much” on our immigrants next time.

Let’s continue:


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Ah, there we are.

Almost half of the people around you aren’t Singaporean

42.9% of the people in Singapore are migrants. This is half-shocking for us — we expected big numbers but we didn’t expect this big.

It means almost half your average peak hour train, traffic crossing, or crowded Starbucks study haunt is diluted with multiple cultures and languages.

(We can’t say the same for Lucky Plaza on Sundays though. Or days when your scholar friends choose to mug in hall.)

We’re not 1st in Southeast Asia. Wait, what?

On closer inspection, we realised that we’re not even champions in Southeast Asia.

Brunei reigns at #17, 5 spots above us. They’ve hit the 50% mark and we’re about 8% behind them.

That 8% translates to about 432,000 migrants.

Numbers to embrace

Now that you know Singapore’s still relatively Singaporean, why not embrace this 42.9%?

Make friends, they’re not so bad.

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Featured Image via Twitter, FiveThirtyEight
With references from FiveThirtyEight, nptd.gov.sg