East & Southeast Asia :: Singapore
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Singapore
Location of Singapore
 
Map of Singapore
Introduction ::Singapore
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
Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
1 22 N, 103 48 E
total: 697 sq km
country comparison to the world: 192
land: 687 sq km
water: 10 sq km
slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
0 km
193 km
territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice
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
lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve
lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m
fish, deepwater ports
arable land: 1.47%
permanent crops: 1.47%
other: 97.06% (2005)
NA
0.6 cu km (1975)
total: 0.19 cu km/yr (45%/51%/4%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (1975)
NA
industrial pollution; limited natural fresh water resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal problems; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
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
focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes
People ::Singapore
4,657,542 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
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) (2009 est.)
total: 39 years
male: 38.5 years
female: 39.4 years (2009 est.)
0.998% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
8.82 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216
4.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196
5.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
urban population: 100% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 2.31 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 224
male: 2.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 81.98 years
country comparison to the world: 4
male: 79.37 years
female: 84.78 years (2009 est.)
1.09 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221
0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
4,200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)
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)
Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2000 census)
3.7% of GDP (2001)
country comparison to the world: 122
Government ::Singapore
conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore
parliamentary republic
name: Singapore
geographic coordinates: 1 17 N, 103 51 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
none
9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National Day, 9 August (1965)
3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on pre-independence State of Singapore Constitution)
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
21 years of age; universal and compulsory
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
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 is usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by president
election results: Sellapan Rama (S R) NATHAN appointed president in August 2005 after Presidential Elections Committee disqualified three other would-be candidates; scheduled election not held
unicameral Parliament (84 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in addition, there are up to nine 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 2011)
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
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
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
none
ADB, APEC, APT, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, C, CP, EAS, 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, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Daniel L. SHIELDS III
embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508
mailing address: FPO AP 96507-0001
telephone: [65] 6476-9100
FAX: [65] 6476-9340
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
Economy ::Singapore
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 service sector. Real GDP growth averaged 7% between 2004 and 2007, but dropped to 1.1% in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis. The economy contracted in the last three quarters of 2008. Prime Minister LEE and other senior officials have dampened expectations for a quick rebound in 2009. Over the longer term, the government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to global demand cycles especially for information technology products. It 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.
$237.3 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$234.8 billion (2007 est.)
$217.8 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$181.9 billion (2008 est.)
1.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
7.8% (2007 est.)
8.4% (2006 est.)
$51,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$51,600 (2007 est.)
$48,500 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 0%
industry: 27.8%
services: 72.2% (2008 est.)
2.94 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103
agriculture 0%, industry 22.6%, services 77.4% (2007)
2.2% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
2.1% (2007 est.)
NA%
lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 23.2% (2008)
48.1 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 30
28.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
revenues: $29.25 billion
expenditures: $26.48 billion (2008 est.)
99.2% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
102.5% of GDP (2004 est.)
6.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
2.1% (2007 est.)
5.38% (31 December 2008)
$52.57 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 30
$44.4 billion (31 December 2007)
$179 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 18
$162.2 billion (31 December 2007)
$143.6 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 37
$129.2 billion (31 December 2007)
$268.6 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 28
$353.5 billion (31 December 2007)
$276.3 billion (31 December 2006)
orchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish
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
-0.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
38.67 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
36.6 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
0 kWh (2008 est.)
0 kWh (2008 est.)
8,553 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
896,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
1.289 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
2.109 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
8.27 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 115
8.27 billion cu m
country comparison to the world: 27
note: from Indonesia and Malaysia (2008 est.)
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
$25.78 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
$39.11 billion (2007 est.)
$342.7 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$303.1 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, mineral fuels
Malaysia 12.1%, Indonesia 10.5%, Hong Kong 10.3%, China 9.2%, US 7.1%, Japan 4.9%, Australia 4.1% (2008)
$219.5 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$254 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Malaysia 11.9%, US 11.8%, China 10.5%, Japan 8.1%, South Korea 5.6%, Indonesia 5.5%, Saudi Arabia 4.6% (2008)
$174.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$163 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$25.52 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$25.59 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$250.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
$232.8 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$173.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
$169.9 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Singapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar - 1.415 (2008 est.), 1.507 (2007), 1.5889 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004)
Communications ::Singapore
1.857 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
6.375 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 77
general assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities; launched 3G wireless service in February 2005; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is nearly 175 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)
AM 0, FM 19, shortwave 1 (2008)
1 (broadcasting on 8 channels); additional reception of numerous UHF and VHF signals originating in Malaysia and Indonesia (2008)
.sg
864,943 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 43
3.37 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 55
Transportation ::Singapore
8 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 164
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 (2009)
gas 106 km (2008)
total: 3,297 km
country comparison to the world: 164
paved: 3,297 km (includes 150 km of expressways) (2007)
total: 1,292
country comparison to the world: 5
by type: bulk carrier 167, cargo 87, carrier 5, chemical tanker 209, container 273, liquefied gas 96, petroleum tanker 386, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 7, vehicle carrier 53
foreign-owned: 774 (Australia 12, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 8, Chile 6, China 14, Cyprus 1, Denmark 87, France 1, Germany 24, Greece 15, Hong Kong 47, India 13, Indonesia 66, Italy 5, Japan 131, South Korea 3, Malaysia 27, Norway 143, Slovenia 1, Sweden 20, Switzerland 2, Taiwan 72, Thailand 23, UAE 12, UK 17, US 22)
registered in other countries: 331 (Australia 1, Bahamas 17, Belize 2, Bolivia 1, Cambodia 4, Cayman Islands 10, Comoros 1, Cyprus 3, Dominica 7, France 2, Honduras 12, Hong Kong 18, Indonesia 27, Isle of Man 1, Kiribati 4, Liberia 32, Malaysia 16, Marshall Islands 18, Mongolia 9, Norway 1, Panama 100, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4, Thailand 2, Tuvalu 23, US 12, unknown 2) (2008)
Singapore
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
Military ::Singapore
Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2009)
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)
males age 16-49: 1,277,862 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 1,033,961
females age 16-49: 1,104,952 (2009 est.)
male: 27,715
female: 26,290 (2009 est.)
4.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
Transnational Issues ::Singapore
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 November 2007, the ICJ will hold public hearings as a consequence of the Memorials and Countermemorials filed by the parties in 2003 and 2005 over sovereignty of Pedra Branca Island/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and 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
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