Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Singapore                                Map of Singapore
Background: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.
Location:Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
Geographic coordinates:1 22 N, 103 48 E
Map references:Southeast Asia
Area: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
Coastline:193 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice
Climate: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
Terrain: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:NA
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:NA
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
Population:4,553,009 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 15.2% (male 358,064/female 333,702)
15-64 years: 76.3% (male 1,692,817/female 1,780,982)
65 years and over: 8.5% (male 171,876/female 215,568) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 37.8 years
male: 37.4 years
female: 38.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:1.275% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:9.17 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:4.4 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:7.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.073 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.797 male(s)/female
total population: 0.954 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 2.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 81.8 years
male: 79.21 years
female: 84.59 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:1.07 children born/woman (2007 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.)
Nationality:noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
Ethnic groups:Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)
Religions: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)
Languages: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)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2000 census)
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
Capital: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:none
Independence:9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National holiday:National Day, 9 August (1965)
Constitution: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
Suffrage: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:NA
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—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):$222.7 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$153.5 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:7.5% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$48,900 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 0%
industry: 33.7%
services: 66.3% (2007 est.)
Labor force:2.67 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:1.7% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:NA%
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):4.4% (2007)
Investment (gross fixed):24.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $27 billion
expenditures: $21.5 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:101.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:rubber, copra, fruit, orchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish
Industries: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:5.6% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:39.44 billion kWh (2006)
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:$41.39 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:$450.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, chemicals, mineral fuels
Exports—partners:Malaysia 13.1%, US 10.2%, Hong Kong 10.1%, China 9.7%, Indonesia 9.2%, Japan 5.5%, Thailand 4.2% (2006)
Imports:$396 billion (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports—partners:Malaysia 13%, US 12.7%, China 11.4%, Japan 8.3%, Taiwan 6.4%, Indonesia 6.2%, South Korea 4.4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$157 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$25.53 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$189.7 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$111.2 billion $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:$382.4 billion (2007)
Economic aid—recipient:$0 (2007)
Currency (code):Singapore dollar (SGD)
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
Telephones—main lines in use:1.854 million (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:4.789 million (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 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)
Television broadcast stations:1 (broadcasting on six channels); additional reception of numerous UHF and VHF signals originating in Malaysia and Indonesia (2006)
Internet country
Internet hosts:954,475 (2007)
Internet users:1.717 million (2006)
Airports: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)
Pipelines:gas 139 km; refined products 8 km (2007)
Roadways:total: 3,234 km
paved: 3,234 km (includes 150 km of expressways) (2005)
Merchant marine:total: 1,131 ships (1000 GRT or over) 33,237,005 GRT/52,487,127 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 167, cargo 85, carrier 1, chemical tanker 156, container 231, liquefied gas 72, livestock carrier 2, petroleum tanker 355, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 7, vehicle carrier 46
foreign-owned: 652 (Australia 6, Bangladesh 2, Belgium 8, China 19, Denmark 68, France 1, Germany 18, Greece 14, Hong Kong 37, India 9, Indonesia 56, Italy 4, Japan 108, South Korea 7, Malaysia 28, Norway 125, Philippines 4, Slovenia 1, Sweden 17, Switzerland 2, Taiwan 60, Thailand 20, UAE 8, UK 13, US 17)
registered in other countries: 293 (Bahamas 9, Belize 3, Bermuda 1, Bolivia 1, Cambodia 2, Cayman Islands 10, Cyprus 1, Dominica 8, France 2, Honduras 10, Hong Kong 11, Indonesia 26, Isle of Man 2, Kiribati 1, Liberia 42, Malaysia 22, Marshall Islands 12, Mongolia 12, Nigeria 1, Norway 1, Panama 83, Philippines 1, St Vincent and The Grenadines 6, Thailand 2, Tuvalu 13, US 11, unknown 4) (2007)
Ports and terminals:Singapore
Military branches:Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Republic of Singapore Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:18 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 for enlisted or age 50 for officers (2007)
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—percent of GDP:4.9% (2005 est.)
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 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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