Sudhir Vadaketh says that Singapore has

THE most racist policy in the developed world: the need to maintain our Chinese majority. (Source.)

It is true that the Singapore government has an official policy regarding the "ethnic balance". Lee Kuan Yew was quite vocal about the undesirability of there being too many Malays. More recently in Feb 2013, a minister (Grace Fu) stated in parliament that

It is our policy to maintain the ethnic balance in the citizen population as far as possible.

So, I was wondering: Is there no other developed country in the world that also has official policies regarding the racial composition of the population?

(To keep the scope of this question narrow, I suggest using the IMF's list of 37 advanced economies. But I'm open to other countries that are not on this list but which can plausibly be said to be "developed".)

  • What exactly their racist policy besides some words by the ministers?
    – Anixx
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 17:12
  • 1
    I think Australia was the last of the countries you accept to abolish a system like that (White Australia Policy)
    – user45891
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 17:29
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    @Anixx: I do not know to what extent the policy is officially articulated, but it seems to be that the "traditional" balance of races should be maintained (which is something like Chinese 75%, Malays 14%, Indians 7%, and Others the remainder---yes there is an official racial category called "Others" in Singapore). The fuller context of that particular minister's quote: In the Parliamentary debate on the Population White Paper (2013), two Malay MPs "commented on the need to maintain the Malay proportion within our population." The above minister (Grace Fu) then responded:
    – user2212
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 7:18
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    We recognise the need to maintain the racial balance in Singapore’s population in order to preserve social stability. The pace and profile of our immigration intake have been calibrated to preserve this racial balance. ¶ The proportion of Malays in the citizen population has been stable over the years, in 2000 it was 14.9% and in 2010 it was 15.1%. In fact, it has increased slightly. It is our policy to maintain the ethnic balance in the citizen population as far as possible.
    – user2212
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 7:18
  • @Kenny LJ if it is about immigration, then it is totally common around the world, for instance, Germany accepts only ethnic Germans and Jews for immigration applications. Similarly, Ukraine accepts only Ukrainians, Finland only Finns etc. It is written in their laws, not just policy.
    – Anixx
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


Many countries have policies to keep the demographics of a country from changing too rapidly, by limiting total numbers of immigrants and making it difficult to become a citizen. This article notes obtaining citizenship in Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the U.S. is extremely difficult, though sometimes permanent resident status is easier. Most developed countries aren't explicitly racist in there practices, and instead use interviews or assimilation tests that can limit certain minorities.

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    It is true that obtaining citizenship in those countries is difficult, so that there might arguably be an implicit policy against certain minorities. But is there an explicit one in say Austria or Germany that says that Aryans should ideally be in a certain range (of percentage of the population) and Turks in another range? Or similarly in Japan that says Japanese and Koreans should respectively be in some certain ranges? I won't be surprised if there used to be such official policies in those countries, but I'd be surprised if there still are in 2015.
    – user2212
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 8:38

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