CultureConnect.com

 Singapore [Country Flag of Singapore]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Singapore]

Singapore

Geography

[Top of Page]

Location: Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia

Geographic coordinates: 1 22 N, 103 48 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area:
total: 647.5 sq km
land: 637.5 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:
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice
territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy; no pronounced rainy or dry seasons; thunderstorms occur on 40% of all days (67% of days in April)

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: 2%
permanent crops: 6%
permanent pastures: NA%
forests and woodland: 5%
other: 87% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

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, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes

People

[Top of Page]

Population: 3,490,356 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 21% (male 383,960; female 361,244)
15-64 years: 72% (male 1,252,427; female 1,255,795)
65 years and over: 7% (male 105,417; female 131,513) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.2% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 13.79 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 4.68 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 3.87 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.49 years
male: 75.46 years
female: 81.77 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.46 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore

Ethnic groups: Chinese 76.4%, Malay 14.9%, Indian 6.4%, other 2.3%

Religions: Buddhist (Chinese), Muslim (Malays), Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Taoist, Confucianist

Languages: Chinese (official), Malay (official and national), Tamil (official), English (official)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.1%
male: 95.9%
female: 86.3% (1995 est.)

Government

[Top of Page]

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore

Data code: SN

Government type: republic within Commonwealth

National capital: Singapore

Administrative divisions: none

Independence: 9 August 1965 (from Malaysia)

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: 20 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: President ONG Teng Cheong (since 1 September 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 28 November 1990) and Deputy Prime Ministers LEE Hsien Loong (since 28 November 1990) and Tony TAN Keng Yam (since 1 August 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, responsible to Parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 28 August 1993 (next to be held NA August 1999); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: ONG Teng Cheong elected president in the country's first popular election for president; percent of vote—ONG Teng Cheong 59%, CHUA Kim Yeow 41%

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 2 January 1997 (next to be held by 2002)
election results: percent of vote by party—PAP 65% (in contested constituencies), other 35%; seats by party—PAP 81, WP 1, SPP 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:
government: People's Action Party (PAP), GOH Chok Tong, secretary general
opposition: Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), CHEE Soon Juan; Workers' Party (WP), J. B. JEYARETNAM; National Solidarity Party (NSP), C. K. TAN; Singapore People's Party (SPP), CHIAM See Tong

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, BIS (pending member), C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MINUGUA, NAM, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNIKOM, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Steven J. GREEN
embassy: 27 Napier Street, Singapore 258508
mailing address: FPO AP 96534-0001
telephone: [65] 476-9100
FAX: [65] 476-9340

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

[Top of Page]

Economy—overview: Singapore has an open economy with strong service and manufacturing sectors and excellent international trading links derived from its entrepot history. Extraordinarily strong fundamentals allowed Singapore to weather the effects of the Asian financial crisis better than its neighbors, but the crisis did pull GDP growth down to approximately 6% in 1997. Projections for 1998 GDP growth are in the 4.5% to 6.5% range. Rising labor costs and appreciation of the Singapore dollar against its neighbors' currencies continue to be a threat to Singapore's competitiveness. The government's strategy to address this problem includes increasing productivity, improving infrastructure, and encouraging higher value-added industries. In applied technology, per capita output, investment, and labor discipline, Singapore has key attributes of a developed country.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$84.6 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 6% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$24,600 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: NEGL%
industry: 28%
services: 72%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 1.8% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.856 million (1997 est.)
by occupation: financial, business, and other services 33.5%, manufacturing 25.6%, commerce 22.9%, construction 6.6%, other 11.4% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 3% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $16.3 billion
expenditures: $13.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY97/98 est.)

Industries: electronics, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, entrepot trade, biotechnology

Industrial production growth rate: 7% (1996 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 4.513 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 21 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 7,234 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: rubber, copra, fruit, vegetables; poultry

Exports:
total value: $125.6 billion (1997 est.)
commodities: computer equipment, rubber and rubber products, petroleum products, telecommunications equipment
partners: Malaysia 19%, US 18%, Hong Kong 9%, Japan 8%, Thailand 6% (1995)

Imports:
total value: $133.9 billion (1997 est.)
commodities: aircraft, petroleum, chemicals, foodstuffs
partners: Japan 21%, Malaysia 15%, US 15%, Thailand 5%, Taiwan 4%, South Korea 4% (1995)

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid: $NA

Currency: 1 Singapore dollar (S$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Singapore dollars (S$) per US$1—1.7533 (January 1998), 1.4848 (1997), 1.4100 (1996), 1.4174 (1995), 1.5274 (1994), 1.6158 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

Communications

[Top of Page]

Telephones: 1.4 million (1997 est.)

Telephone system: good domestic facilities; good international service
domestic: NA
international: submarine cables to Malaysia (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), Indonesia, and the Philippines; satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 13, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1996)

Televisions: 1.05 million (1992 est.)

Transportation

[Top of Page]

Railways:
total: 38.6 km
narrow gauge: 38.6 km 1.000-m gauge
note: there is a 67 km mass transit system with 42 stations

Highways:
total: 3,010 km
paved: 2,932 km (including 150 km of expressways)
unpaved: 78 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Singapore

Merchant marine:
total: 856 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 18,463,338 GRT/29,322,743 DWT
ships by type: bulk 135, cargo 146, chemical tanker 42, combination bulk 5, combination ore/oil 6, container 143, liquefied gas tanker 30, livestock carrier 1, multifunction large-load carrier 7, oil tanker 284, refrigerated cargo 9, roll-on/roll-off cargo 11, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 7, vehicle carrier 29
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 22 countries among which are Japan 42, Denmark 32, Hong Kong 31, Sweden 24, Thailand 24, Germany 18, Taiwan 12, Belgium 12, China 11, and Indonesia 11; Singapore also owns an additional 196 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 10,052,598 DWT that operate under the registries of The Bahamas, Belize, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Honduras, Liberia, Malta, Panama, Philippines, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1997 est.)

Airports: 9 (1997 est.)

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 (1997 est.)

Military

[Top of Page]

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, People's Defense Force, Police Force

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,040,147 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 758,435 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $4.03 billion (FY96/97)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 4.3% (FY96/97)

Transnational Issues

[Top of Page]

Disputes—international: two islands in dispute with Malaysia

Illicit drugs: transit point for Golden Triangle heroin going to the US, Western Europe, and the Third World; also a money-laundering center