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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:
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, 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
4,492,150 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.6% (male 362,329/female 337,964)
15-64 years: 76.1% (male 1,666,709/female 1,750,736)
65 years and over: 8.3% (male 165,823/female 208,589) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.3 years
male: 36.9 years
female: 37.6 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.42% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
9.34 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
4.28 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
9.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 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: 0.96 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.71 years
male: 79.13 years
female: 84.49 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.06 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
4,100 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less 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% (2002)
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); Deputy Prime Minister Shunmugan JAYAKUMAR (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Minister WONG Kan Seng (since 1 September 2005); Senior Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 12 August 2004); Minister Mentor LEE Kuan Yew (since 12 August 2004)
cabinet: appointed by president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; last appointed 17 August 2005 - see note (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; the losing opposition candidate who came closest to winning a seat may be appointed as a "nonconstituency" member
elections: last held 6 May 2006 (next to be held in 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 National Solidarity Party or NSP, Singapore Justice Party or SJP, Singapore National Malay Organization or PKMS, Singapore People's Party or SPP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
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, a highly-developed and successful free-market economy, 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 in 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 2004-06, 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):
$138.6 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$121.5 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$30,900 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0%
industry: 33.8%
services: 66.2% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
2.4 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 18%, construction 18%, transportation and communication 11%, financial, business, and other services 6%, other 26% (2003)
Unemployment rate:
3.1% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
42.5 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
21.8% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $19.71 billion
expenditures: $19.85 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.1 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt:
100.6% of GDP (2006 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:
12.6% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
32.64 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
30.35 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
9,701 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
800,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
6.61 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
6.61 billion cu m
note: from Indonesia and Malaysia (2004 est.)
Current account balance:
$35.58 billion (2006 est.)
$283.6 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, chemicals, mineral fuels
Exports - partners:
Malaysia 14.7%, US 11.5%, Indonesia 10.7%, Hong Kong 10.4%, China 9.5%, Japan 6%, Thailand 4.5%, Australia 4.1% (2005)
$246.1 billion (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Malaysia 14.4%, US 12.4%, China 10.8%, Japan 10.1%, Indonesia 5.5%, Saudi Arabia 4.7%, South Korea 4.5% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$134.6 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$24.3 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Currency (code):
Singapore dollar (SGD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Singapore dollars per US dollar - 1.595 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004), 1.7422 (2003), 1.7906 (2002)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Singapore
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.848 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
4.385 million (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities; launched 3G wireless service in February 2005
international: country code - 65; 9 submarine cables provide direct connection to more than 100 countries; 4 satellite earth stations, supplemented by VSAT coverage
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; note - digital TV for reception in public spaces and transportation is transmitted from 10 sites (2006)
1.33 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
898,762 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
9 (2000)
Internet users:
2,421,800 (2005)
Transportation Singapore
9 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
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
under 914 m: 1 (2006)
gas 139 km; refined products 8 km (2006)
total: 3,234 km
paved: 3,234 km (including 150 km of expressways) (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 1,063 ships (1000 GRT or over) 31,033,735 GRT/49,715,650 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 155, cargo 87, chemical tanker 136, container 214, liquefied gas 53, livestock carrier 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 353, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 11, vehicle carrier 40
foreign-owned: 592 (Australia 7, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 12, China 23, Denmark 52, Germany 9, Greece 9, Hong Kong 50, India 5, Indonesia 56, Italy 2, Japan 100, South Korea 17, Malaysia 35, Netherlands 2, Norway 90, Philippines 5, Slovenia 1, Sweden 12, Taiwan 59, Thailand 22, UAE 7, UK 9, US 7)
registered in other countries: 285 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Bahamas 12, Belize 6, Bolivia 3, Cambodia 4, Cayman Islands 10, Cyprus 1, Dominica 9, France 2, Honduras 11, Hong Kong 24, Indonesia 17, Isle of Man 7, North Korea 1, Liberia 28, Malaysia 44, Marshall Islands 6, Mongolia 10, Nigeria 1, Panama 67, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5, Thailand 6, Tuvalu 6, US 2, unknown 2) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Military Singapore
Military branches:
Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Republic of Singapore Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation reduced to 24 months beginning December 2004 (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,215,568 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 982,368 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$4.47 billion (FY01 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
4.9% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Singapore
Disputes - international:
disputes persist with Malaysia over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's extensive land reclamation works, bridge construction, maritime boundaries, and Pedra Branca Island/Pulau Batu Putih - parties agree to ICJ arbitration on island dispute within three years; Indonesia and Singapore pledged in 2005 to finalize their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Batam Island; piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait
Illicit drugs:
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 18 January, 2007