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  Introduction Back To Top

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 Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.19 cu km/yr (45%/51%/4%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (1975)

Total renewable water resources:
0.6 cu km (1975)

Land boundaries:
0 km

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

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

Map references:
Southeast Asia

Geographic coordinates:
1 22 N, 103 48 E

Natural resources:
fish, deepwater ports

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m

lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve

Geography - note:
focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes

total: 692.7 sq km
land: 682.7 sq km
water: 10 sq km

Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia

193 km

Area - comparative:
slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

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

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice

Natural hazards:

Land use:
arable land: 1.47%
permanent crops: 1.47%
other: 97.06% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.08 children born/woman (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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
4,100 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.89 years
male: 79.29 years
female: 84.68 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2000 census)

Net migration rate:
6.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)

Median age:
total: 38.4 years
male: 38 years
female: 38.8 years (2008 est.)

4,608,167 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
3.7% of GDP (2001)

Population growth rate:
1.135% (2008 est.)

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)

Death rate:
4.53 deaths/1,000 population (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.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 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.)

Birth rate:
8.99 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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)

noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore

  Government Back To Top

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

National holiday:
National Day, 9 August (1965)

21 years of age; universal and compulsory

Government type:
parliamentary republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: investment companies; news organizations

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

International organization participation:

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

Legal system:
based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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

9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore

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

name: Singapore
geographic coordinates: 1 17 N, 103 51 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on preindependence State of Singapore Constitution)

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

Administrative divisions:

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

  Economy Back To Top

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)

Electricity - consumption:
35.13 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$32.12 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$25.54 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
2.3% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
1.203 million bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$52,900 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
27% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$129.2 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$244 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$192.8 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
52.2 (2005)

Exchange rates:
Singapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar - 1.415 (2008 est.), 1.507 (2007), 1.5889 (2006), 1.6644 (2005), 1.6902 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$44.4 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
2.81 million (2008 est.)

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)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0%
industry: 33.8%
services: 66.2% (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:
2.003 million bbl/day (2005)

$349.5 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
6.5 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Singapore dollar (SGD)

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, and on a growing service sector. Real GDP growth averaged 7% between 2004 and 2007, but dropped to 3% in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis. The economy contracted in the second and third quarters of 2008, and 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.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs

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

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.33% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$162.2 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
38.68 billion kWh (2007 est.)

$307.6 billion (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 21%, construction 5%, transportation and communication 7%, financial, business, and other services 42%, other 25% (2006)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$170.1 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
834,600 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$111.2 billion (2005)

Public debt:
92.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$225.7 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$353.5 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 32.8% (1998)

Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, chemicals, mineral fuels

Economic aid - recipient:
$0 (2007)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
6.5 billion cu m
note: from Indonesia and Malaysia (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $27.7 billion
expenditures: $26.22 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March

Oil - production:
9,836 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
3.105 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
1.859 million (2007)

1.33 million (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 17, shortwave 2 (2003)

2.6 million (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.619 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (broadcasting on six channels); additional reception of numerous UHF and VHF signals originating in Malaysia and Indonesia (2006)

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 165 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 (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
9 (2000)

Internet hosts:
837,559 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

gas 139 km; refined products 8 km (2007)

Ports and terminals:

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

Merchant marine:
total: 1,292
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)

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)

total: 3,262 km
paved: 3,262 km (includes 150 km of expressways) (2006)

8 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

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.)

Military branches:
Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 27,742
female: 26,325 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
4.9% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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

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