Country Information Database


Singapore Country Information

Flag 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
Geographic coordinates:
1 22 N, 103 48 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 692.7 sq km
land: 682.7 sq km
water: 10 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
193 km
Maritime claims:
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
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:
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:
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
People Singapore
4,608,167 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.8% (male 353,333/female 329,005)
15-64 years: 76.5% (male 1,717,357/female 1,809,462)
65 years and over: 8.7% (male 177,378/female 221,632) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 38.4 years
male: 38 years
female: 38.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.135% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
8.99 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
4.53 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
6.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 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 (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.89 years
male: 79.29 years
female: 84.68 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.08 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
4,100 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
Ethnic groups:
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)
Education expenditures:
3.7% of GDP (2001)
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
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:
9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National holiday:
National Day, 9 August (1965)
3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on preindependence State of Singapore Constitution)
Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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); Minister Mentor LEE Kuan Yew (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Ministers Shunmugam JAYAKUMAR (since 12 August 2004) and 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
Legislative branch:
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
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]; 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:
other: investment companies; news organizations
International organization participation:
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 Patricia L. HERBOLD
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
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 equal to that of the four largest West European countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics and information technology products. It was hard hit from 2001-03 by the global recession, by the slump in the technology sector, and by an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, which curbed tourism and consumer spending. Fiscal stimulus, low interest rates, a surge in exports, and internal flexibility led to vigorous growth in 2004-07 with real GDP growth averaging 7% annually. The government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to the global demand cycle 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$227.1 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$161.3 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$49,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0%
industry: 31.2%
services: 68.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
2.751 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 21%, construction 5%, transportation and communication 7%, financial, business, and other services 42%, other 25% (2006)
Unemployment rate:
2.1% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 32.8% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
52.2 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.1% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
24.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
revenues: $27 billion
expenditures: $21.5 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
96.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
rubber, copra, fruit, 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
Industrial production growth rate:
7.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
39.44 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
35.92 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2006)
Oil - production:
9,836 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
802,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
1.073 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
1.83 million bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
6.8 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
6.339 billion cu m
note: from Indonesia and Malaysia (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$46.39 billion (2007 est.)
$302.7 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, chemicals, mineral fuels
Exports - partners:
Malaysia 12.9%, Hong Kong 10.5%, Indonesia 9.8%, China 9.7%, US 8.9%, Japan 4.8%, Thailand 4.1% (2007)
$252 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Malaysia 13.1%, US 12.5%, China 12.1%, Japan 8.2%, Taiwan 5.9%, Indonesia 5.6%, South Korea 4.9% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$0 (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$163 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$25.59 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$214.5 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$111.2 billion (2005)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$382.4 billion (2007)
Currency (code):
Singapore dollar (SGD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Singapore dollars per US dollar - 1.507 (2007), 1.5889 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Singapore
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.859 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.619 million (2007)
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 about 150 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 (2003)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 17, shortwave 2 (2003)
2.6 million (2000)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (broadcasting on six channels); additional reception of numerous UHF and VHF signals originating in Malaysia and Indonesia (2006)
1.33 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
954,475 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
9 (2000)
Internet users:
3.105 million (2007)
Transportation Singapore
8 (2007)
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 (2007)
gas 139 km; refined products 8 km (2007)
total: 3,262 km
paved: 3,262 km (includes 150 km of expressways) (2006)
Merchant marine:
total: 1,254 ships (1000 GRT or over) 36,840,708 GRT/57,100,327 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 171, cargo 80, carrier 5, chemical tanker 207, container 257, liquefied gas 89, petroleum tanker 380, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 6, vehicle carrier 50
foreign-owned: 758 (Australia 11, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 8, Chile 6, China 14, Denmark 82, France 1, Germany 24, Greece 14, Hong Kong 44, India 10, Indonesia 66, Italy 5, Japan 109, Malaysia 26, Norway 164, Philippines 4, Slovenia 1, South Korea 8, Sweden 19, Switzerland 2, Taiwan 71, Thailand 22, UAE 14, UK 13, US 18)
registered in other countries: 320 (Australia 1, Bahamas 17, Belize 2, Bolivia 1, Cambodia 3, Cayman Islands 10, Comoros 1, Cyprus 4, Dominica 7, France 2, Honduras 11, Hong Kong 11, Indonesia 27, Kiribati 3, Liberia 35, Malaysia 17, Malta 2, Marshall Islands 18, Mongolia 9, Norway 1, Panama 98, Philippines 1, St Kitts and Nevis 1, St Vincent and the Grenadines 5, Thailand 1, Tuvalu 15, UK 2, US 12, unknown 3) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Military Singapore
Military branches:
Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2008)
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: 1,277,862 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,038,603 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 27,742
female: 26,325 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
4.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
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 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
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

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Wed, 06 Dec 2023 23:13:29 +0000