Penang: Fertility rate of just 1.5 and 1,300 net migration.

When I got to know that Malaysia’s average fertility rate has gone down to just 1.9, I thought it was low. Read here: 2015: Fertility rate dropped to 1.9 for Malaysia  Well, reported in a local English daily, the fertility rate in Penang is just 1.5! Some of us may then point out that Penang continues to attract lots of talents from all over Malaysia. I agree. That’s why Penang was my choice for career when I graduated in 1998. I worked in Penang till 2013. I have since moved to KL. The reason was because I have received many offers with promotions and increments but the more attractive ones were all from KL. After having been persuaded way too many times, I moved. I am not in their technology or engineering, so perhaps KL would suit me better.
Last year, I asked a close friend if she felt that there were fewer ‘external’ people like me working in her company. She told me that she did feel that there were fewer. She was not sure. I was also not sure. Well, the latest report showed that the trend is happening. According to Penang Institute fellow and head of urban studies Stuart Macdonald, in 2014, the net migration into Penang was only 1,300. In brief, it meant that without adding those new babies born in Penang, the total number of working people in Penang from out of Penang is only growing 1,300 per year or slightly over 100 per month. I think this is quite low because I seriously do feel Penang is still a very attractive place for work, play and stay. My brother as well as my sister and their partners are still happily working in Penang today and my parents would prefer Penang anytime compared to KL too.
Breaking the numbers for easier understanding. In 2014, the total migration to Penang from other states was 12,800 while people leaving Penang for other states is 11,500. Thus a net migration of 1,300. In 2013, total migration into Penang was higher, at 14,100 while net migration was 2,600. For the periods of 1992 – 2013, the net migration was 9,372. Yes, we are talking about a serious reduction for the past few years when we compare the actual average versus the numbers of today. With current economic slowdown, what will happen to this migration number? Well, we shall see next year when Penang Institute updates their report. Total population for Penang is estimated at over 1.6 million as at 2013. Still a huge number, fortunately and is enough to propel for continuous growth. For those married couples in Penang, I think it’s time to work harder! Fertility rate has to go up. Happy staying, working and playing in Penang.
written on 16 Sept 2015
Next suggested article: Talented, Skilled and affordability? Think Penang


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