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General Information About Singapore

Singapore_Bridge.jpg (17398 bytes) The population of Singapore has exploded in the last century from a mere 230,000 to an incredible 4 million at the start of the new millennium, 2000.  In that population boom, the ratio of men to women has narrowed from almost 3:1, to almost even.

In contrast to its small size, Singapore has been phenomenal in its successes.  A leader in repairing and building ships, Singapore also has a center that refines and distributes oil which which is one of the largest in the world.  

 

Its harbor is the busiest in the world and is a very popular port for cruise lines.  The airport is also the busiest in the world and is also one of the world's best airports with a vast array of amenities available.

Singapore, one of the cleanest and safest spots in Asia, draws a crowd of around 6 million visitors each year.  A reason for its cleanliness and safety stems from a strict enforcement of rules for even the slightest transgression. 

 


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Background:
Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and with per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe.
 
Geography ::Singapore
Location:
Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
Geographic coordinates:
1 22 N, 103 48 E
Area:
total: 697 sq km
country comparison to the world: 191
land: 687 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
Coastline:
193 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice
Climate:
Current Weather
tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - Northeastern monsoon (December to March) and Southwestern monsoon (June to September); inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
Terrain:
lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m
Natural resources:
fish, deepwater ports
Land use:
arable land: 1.47%
permanent crops: 1.47%
other: 97.06% (2005)
Irrigated land:
NA
Total renewable water resources:
0.6 cu km (1975)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.19 cu km/yr (45%/51%/4%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (1975)
Natural hazards:
NA
Environment - current issues:
industrial pollution; limited natural fresh water resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal problems; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes
Back to Top
People ::Singapore
Population:
4,701,069 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.4% (male 348,382/female 324,050)
15-64 years: 76.7% (male 1,737,972/female 1,833,415)
65 years and over: 8.9% (male 184,393/female 229,330) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.6 years
male: 39.1 years
female: 40 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.863% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
Birth rate:
8.65 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
Death rate:
4.8 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 194
Net migration rate:
4.79 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
Urbanization:
urban population: 100% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.077 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.32 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 222
male: 2.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 82.06 years
country comparison to the world: 7
male: 79.45 years
female: 84.87 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.1 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 222
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
4,200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
Nationality:
noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)
Religions:
Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census)
Languages:
Mandarin (official) 35%, English (official) 23%, Malay (official) 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil (official) 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2000 census)
Education expenditures:
3.2% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 144
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Government ::Singapore
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore
Government type:
parliamentary republic
Capital:
name: Singapore
geographic coordinates: 1 17 N, 103 51 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
none
Independence:
9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National holiday:
National Day, 9 August (1965)
Constitution:
3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on pre-independence State of Singapore Constitution)
Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
21 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
chief of state: President S R NATHAN (since 1 September 1999)
note: uses S R NATHAN but his full name and the one used in formal communications is Sellapan RAMANATHAN
head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong (since 12 August 2004); Senior Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 12 August 2004); Senior Minister Shunmugam JAYAKUMAR (since 1 April 2009); Minister Mentor LEE Kuan Yew (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Minister TEO Chee Huan (since 1 April 2009) and Deputy Prime Minister WONG Kan Seng (since 1 September 2005)
cabinet: appointed by president, responsible to parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; appointed on 17 August 2005 (next election to be held by August 2011); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by president
election results: Sellapan Rama (S R) NATHAN was appointed president in August 2005 after Presidential Elections Committee disqualified three other would-be candidates; scheduled election not held
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in addition, there are up to 9 nominated members; up to three losing opposition candidates who came closest to winning seats may be appointed as "nonconstituency" members
elections: last held on 6 May 2006 (next to be held by February 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 66.6%, WP 16.3%, SDA 13%, SDP 4.1%; seats by party - PAP 82, WP 1, SDA 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president with the advice of the prime minister, other judges are appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice); Court of Appeals
Political parties and leaders:
People's Action Party or PAP [LEE Hsien Loong]; Reform Party [NG Teck Siong]; Singapore Democratic Alliance or SDA [CHIAM See Tong]; Singapore Democratic Party or SDP [CHEE Soon Juan]; Workers' Party or WP [Sylvia LIM Swee Lian]
note: SDA includes Singapore Justice Party or SJP, Singapore National Malay Organization or PKMS, Singapore People's Party or SPP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none
International organization participation:
ADB, AOSIS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, C, CP, EAS, FATF, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIT, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador CHAN Heng Chee
chancery: 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 537-3100
FAX: [1] (202) 537-0876
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David I. ADELMAN
embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508
mailing address: FPO AP 96507-0001
telephone: [65] 6476-9100
FAX: [65] 6476-9340
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; near the hoist side of the red band, there is a vertical, white crescent (closed portion is toward the hoist side) partially enclosing five white five-pointed stars arranged in a circle; red denotes brotherhood and equality; white signifies purity and virtue; the waxing crescent moon symbolizes a young nation on the ascendancy; the five stars represent the nation's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality
National anthem:
name: "Majulah Singapura" (Onward Singapore)
lyrics/music: ZUBIR Said
note: adopted 1965; the anthem, which was first performed in 1958 at the Victoria Theatre, is sung only in Malay
Back to Top
Economy ::Singapore
Economy - overview:
Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing financial services sector. Real GDP growth averaged 6.9% between 2004 and 2008. The economy contracted 1.3% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but rebounded nearly 15% in 2010, on the strength of renewed exports. Over the longer term, the government hopes to establish a new growth path that focuses on raising productivity growth, which has sunk to 1% per year in the last decade. Singapore has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production and will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia's financial and high-tech hub.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$292.2 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$255 billion (2009 est.)
$258.3 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$217.4 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
14.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2
-1.3% (2009 est.)
1.8% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$62,200 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
$54,700 (2009 est.)
$56,100 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0%
industry: 27.2%
services: 72.8% (2010 est.)
Labor force:
3.09 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 0%
industry: 23.8%
services: 76.2% (2008)
Unemployment rate:
2.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
3% (2009 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 23.2% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
48.1 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 29
Investment (gross fixed):
27.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
Public debt:
102.4% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
110% of GDP (2009 est.)
note: for Singapore, public debt consists largely of Singapore Government Securities (SGS) issued to assist the Central Provident Fund (CPF), which administers Singapore's defined contribution pension fund; special issues of SGS are held by the CPF, and are non-tradeable; the government has not borrowed to finance deficit expenditures since the 1980s
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
0.6% (2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.38% (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
5.38% (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$80.5 billion (31 December 2010 est)
country comparison to the world: 35
$64.26 billion (31 December 2009 est)
Stock of broad money:
$295.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$255.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$199.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$166.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$474.8 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 21
$268.6 billion (31 December 2008)
$353.5 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
orchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish
Industries:
electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepot trade
Industrial production growth rate:
10.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
Electricity - production:
41.72 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
Electricity - consumption:
37.94 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
9,667 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
Oil - consumption:
878,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
Oil - exports:
1.289 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
Oil - imports:
2.109 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
Natural gas - consumption:
8.27 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125
Natural gas - imports:
8.27 billion cu m
country comparison to the world: 26
note: from Indonesia and Malaysia (2008 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
Current account balance:
$40.44 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$32.63 billion (2009 est.)
Exports:
$358.3 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$273.4 billion (2009 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, mineral fuels
Exports - partners:
Hong Kong 11.6%, Malaysia 11.5%, US 11.2%, Indonesia 9.7%, China 9.7%, Japan 4.6%, Hong Kong 11.6% (2009)
Imports:
$315.6 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$243.2 billion (2009 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
US 14.7%, Malaysia 11.6%, China 10.5%, Japan 7.6%, Indonesia 5.8%, South Korea 5.7%, Taiwan 5.22% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$212.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$187.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external:
$21.66 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$20.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$274.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$260.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$172.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$167.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates:
Singapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar - 1.3702 (2010), 1.4545 (2009), 1.415 (2008), 1.507 (2007), 1.5889 (2006)
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Communications ::Singapore
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.852 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 61
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.652 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 83
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities; launched 3G wireless service in February 2005; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is more than 180 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 65; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 4; supplemented by VSAT coverage (2008)
Broadcast media:
state controls broadcast media; 8 domestic TV stations operated by MediaCorp, wholly owned by a state investment company; broadcasts from Malaysian and Indonesian stations available; satellite dishes banned; multi-channel cable TV service is accessible; a total of 18 domestic radio stations broadcasting with MediaCorp operating more than a dozen and another 4 stations are closely linked to the ruling party or controlled by the Singapore Armed Forces Reservists Association; large number of Malaysian and Indonesian radio stations are available (2008)
Internet country code:
.sg
Internet hosts:
992,786 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 44
Internet users:
3.235 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 65
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Transportation ::Singapore
Airports:
8 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 164
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
Pipelines:
gas 106 km (2009)
Roadways:
total: 3,356 km
country comparison to the world: 163
paved: 3,356 km (includes 161 km of expressways) (2009)
Merchant marine:
total: 1,422
country comparison to the world: 6
by type: bulk carrier 183, cargo 88, carrier 6, chemical tanker 233, container 321, liquefied gas 117, petroleum tanker 404, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 13, vehicle carrier 52
foreign-owned: 850 (Australia 11, Bangladesh 2, Bermuda 21, Chile 7, China 26, Cyprus 3, Denmark 125, France 3, Germany 30, Greece 19, Hong Kong 38, India 19, Indonesia 53, Italy 3, Japan 146, Malaysia 27, Netherlands 1, Norway 132, Slovenia 1, South Africa 3, South Korea 9, Sweden 9, Switzerland 4, Taiwan 79, Thailand 30, UAE 10, UK 6, US 33)
registered in other countries: 327 (Australia 2, Bahamas 7, Bangladesh 3, Belize 7, Cambodia 4, Cyprus 1, Dominica 1, France 3, Gibraltar 1, Honduras 12, Hong Kong 13, Indonesia 42, Isle of Man 1, Kiribati 11, Liberia 27, Malaysia 19, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 28, Mongolia 1, North Korea 2, Panama 79, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 5, Sierra Leone 5, Thailand 1, Tuvalu 25, US 17, unknown 6) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
Singapore
Transportation - note:
the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift
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Military ::Singapore
Military branches:
Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
18-21 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 2-year conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers) (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,266,426 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,027,701
females age 16-49: 1,097,762 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 27,430
female: 25,918 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
4.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
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Transnational Issues ::Singapore
Disputes - international:
disputes persist with Malaysia over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's extensive land reclamation works, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits; in 2008, ICJ awards sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but does not rule on maritime regimes, boundaries, or disposition of South Ledge; Indonesia and Singapore continue to work on finalization of their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Indonesia's Batam Island; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait
Illicit drugs:
drug abuse limited because of aggressive law enforcement efforts; as a transportation and financial services hub, Singapore is vulnerable, despite strict laws and enforcement, as a venue for money laundering

 


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