Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but was ousted 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.



Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia

Geographic coordinates

1 22 N, 103 48 E

Map references

Southeast Asia


total: 697 sq km
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


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


lowlying, gently undulating central plateau


mean elevation: NA
elevation extremes: lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m

Natural resources

fish, deepwater ports

Land use

agricultural land: 1%
arable land 0.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 0%
forest: 3.3%
other: 95.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Natural hazards


Environment - current issues

industrial pollution; limited natural freshwater 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 and Society


noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore


5,781,728 (July 2016 est.)

Ethnic groups

Chinese 74.2%, Malay 13.3%, Indian 9.2%, other 3.3% (2013 est.)


Mandarin (official) 36.3%, English (official) 29.8%, Malay (official) 11.9%, Hokkien 8.1%, Cantonese 4.1%, Tamil (official) 3.2%, Teochew 3.2%, other Indian languages 1.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.1%, other 1.1% (2010 est.)


Buddhist 33.9%, Muslim 14.3%, Taoist 11.3%, Catholic 7.1%, Hindu 5.2%, other Christian 11%, other 0.7%, none 16.4% (2010 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 12.94% (male 382,479/female 365,595)
15-24 years: 17.02% (male 484,355/female 499,940)
25-54 years: 50.45% (male 1,420,833/female 1,496,125)
55-64 years: 10.34% (male 299,446/female 298,562)
65 years and over: 9.24% (male 243,418/female 290,975) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 37.4%
youth dependency ratio: 21.4%
elderly dependency ratio: 16.1%
potential support ratio: 6.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 34.3 years
male: 34.2 years
female: 34.4 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.86% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

8.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

3.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

13.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)


urban population: 100% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.02% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

SINGAPORE (capital) 5.619 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

10 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 2.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 85 years
male: 82.3 years
female: 87.8 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

0.82 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

4.9% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

1.95 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

2 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Major infectious diseases

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

6.8% (2014)

Education expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2013)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.8%
male: 98.6%
female: 95% (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

median age (2015 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7%
male: 5.4%
female: 9% (2013)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore
etymology: name derives from the Sanskrit words "singa" (lion) and "pura" (city) to describe the city-state's leonine symbol

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)


several previous; latest adopted 22 December 1965; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)

Legal system

English common law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Singapore
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


21 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Tony TAN Keng Yam (since 1 September 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Ministers TEO Chee Hean (since 1 April 2009) and Tharman SHANMUGARATNAM (since 21 May 2011)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; Cabinet responsible to Parliament
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a single 6-year term; election last held on 27 August 2011 (next to be held by August 2017); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: Tony TAN Keng Yam elected president; percent of vote - Tony TAN Keng Yam (independent) 35.2% , TAN Cheng Bock (independent) 34.9%, TAN Jee Say (independent) 25%, TAN Kin Lian (PP) 4.9%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (101 seats; 89 members directly elected by popular vote, 9 nominated by the president, and up to 9 - but currently 3 - non-constituency members from opposition parties to ensure political diversity; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 September 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 69.9%, WP 12.5%, other 17.6%; seats by party - PAP 83, WP 6

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the president or chief justice and 16 justices and organized into an upper tier Appeal Court and a lower tier High Court)
judge selection and term of office: all judges appointed by the president from candidates recommended by the prime minister after consultation with the chief justice; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: district, magistrates', juvenile, family, community, and coroners' courts; small claims tribunals

Political parties and leaders

National Solidarity Party or NSP [LIM Tean]
People's Action Party or PAP [LEE Hsien Loong]
Singapore Democratic Party or SDP [CHEE Soon Juan]
Workers' Party or WP [LOW Thia Khiang]

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation

ADB, AOSIS, APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN, BIS, C, CP, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Ashok Kumar MIRPURI (since 24 July 2012)
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 Kirk W. WAGAR (since 25 September 2013)
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 symbol(s)

lion, merlion (mythical half lion-half fish creature), orchid; national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Majulah Singapura" (Onward Singapore)
lyrics/music: ZUBIR Said
note: adopted 1965; first performed in 1958 at the Victoria Theatre, the anthem is sung only in Malay


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. Unemployment is very low. The economy depen

The economy contracted 0.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but has continued to grow since 2010 on the strength of renewed exports. Growth in 2014-16 was slower at under 3%, largely a result of soft demand for exports amid a sluggish

The government is attempting to restructure Singapore’s economy by weaning its dependence on foreign labor, addressing weak productivity, and increasing Singaporean wages. Singapore has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$486.9 billion (2016 est.)
$478.8 billion (2015 est.)
$469.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$296.6 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

1.7% (2016 est.)
2% (2015 est.)
3.3% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$87,100 (2016 est.)
$86,500 (2015 est.)
$85,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

46% of GDP (2016 est.)
46.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
46.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 36.1%
government consumption: 10.8%
investment in fixed capital: 23.4%
investment in inventories: 2%
exports of goods and services: 176.9%
imports of goods and services: -149.2% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0%
industry: 26.6%
services: 73.4% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

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

1% (2016 est.)

Labor force

3.661 million
note: excludes non-residents (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 1.3%
industry: 14.8%
services: 83.9%
note: excludes non-residents (2014)

Unemployment rate

2.1% (2016 est.)
1.9% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 11% (2014)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

46.4 (2014)
46.3 (2013)


revenues: $46.86 billion
expenditures: $44.83 billion
note: expenditures include both operational and development expenditures (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

15.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

0.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

110.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
104.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: Singapore's 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-tr

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.8% (2016 est.)
-0.5% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

0.25% (2014)
0.07% (2013)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

5.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.35% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$115.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$113.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$413.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$405.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$353.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$344.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$640 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$752.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$744.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Current account balance

$57.26 billion (2016 est.)
$57.92 billion (2015 est.)


$353.3 billion (2016 est.)
$377.1 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

machinery and equipment (including electronics and telecommunications), pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, refined petroleum products, foodstuffs and beverages

Exports - partners

China 13.7%, Hong Kong 11.5%, Malaysia 10.8%, Indonesia 8.2%, US 6.9%, Japan 4.4%, South Korea 4.1% (2015)


$271.3 billion (2016 est.)
$294.5 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods

Imports - partners

China 14.2%, US 11.2%, Malaysia 11.2%, Japan 6.3%, South Korea 6.1%, Indonesia 4.8% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$249.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$247.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$467.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$465.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$1.041 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$978.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$673 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$625.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Singapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar -
1.379 (2016 est.)
1.3748 (2015 est.)
1.3748 (2014 est.)
1.2671 (2013 est.)
1.25 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

49.31 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

47.18 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

13 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

95.3% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

3.9% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

11,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

895,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

1.02 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

1.292 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

1.697 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

2.035 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

10.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports

10.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

216 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,021,500
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 8.211 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 145 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity more than 180 telephones per 100 persons; multiple providers of high-speed Internet connectivity
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 (2015)

Broadcast media

state controls broadcast media; 8 domestic TV stations operated by MediaCorp which is wholly owned by a state investment company; broadcasts from Malaysian and Indonesian stations available; satellite dishes banned; multi-channel cable TV service availabl

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 4.659 million
percent of population: 82.1% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 5
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 197
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 33,290,544
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 6,154,365,275 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

9V (2016)


9 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 9
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)


gas 122 km; refined products 8 km (2013)


total: 3,425 km
paved: 3,425 km (includes 161 km of expressways) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 1,599
by type: bulk carrier 247, cargo 109, carrier 6, chemical tanker 256, container 339, liquefied gas 131, petroleum tanker 436, refrigerated cargo 13, roll on/roll off 5, vehicle carrier 57
foreign-owned: 966 (Australia 12, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 1, Bermuda 25, Brazil 9, Chile 6, China 29, Cyprus 6, Denmark 149, France 3, Germany 32, Greece 22, Hong Kong 46, India 21, Indonesia 60, Italy 5, Japan 164, Malaysia 27, Netherlands 1, Norway 153, Russia 2, South Afr
registered in other countries: 344 (Australia 2, Bahamas 7, Bangladesh 7, Belize 4, Cambodia 3, Cyprus 1, France 3, Honduras 11, Hong Kong 13, Indonesia 46, Italy 1, Kiribati 9, Liberia 22, Malaysia 13, Maldives 4, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 30, Mongolia 3, North Korea 1, Panama 92, Philipp (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Singapore
container port(s) (TEUs): Singapore (31,649,400)
LNG terminal(s) (import): 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; in 2014, 8 commercial vessels were attacked in the Singapore Straits


Military branches

Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18-21 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 1/2 years of age for volunteers; 2-year conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers) (2012)

Military expenditures

3.52% of GDP (2012)
3.47% of GDP (2011)
3.52% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

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 awarded sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but did 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, including carrying out death sentences; as a transportation and financial services hub, Singapore is vulnerable, despite strict laws and enforcement, as a venue for money laundering