The island state’s economy grew by some 4.8% in 2011 and is projected to be around 2.5% by the end of 2012. Both external and domestic demand is expected to continue to support strong economic growth in Singapore’s increasingly knowledge based skills economy.
Singapore is located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsular, 137 kilometres north of the Equator. As an island country, it is made up of 63 islands and is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor. There are two man-made connections to Malaysia, the Johor-Singapore Causeway in the north and the Tuas Second Link in the west. Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest islands after Singapore Island, which contains the capital, Singapore City.
Singapore’s land area consists of forest and nature reserves and its primary rainforest is Bukit Timah. Most work in Singapore is in the service sector and poverty levels are low compared to other countries in the Region. Singapore has the world’s highest percentage of millionaire households.
Tourism forms a large part of the economy with over ten million visitors each year. Gambling has been legalised and the country’s casino resorts have proved popular destinations. A largely Buddhist (Chinese) state, Singaporians may claim that they are an egalitarian society, yet they retain strong hierarchical relationships in most aspects of their lives. Singapore is a multi-ethnic society, where culturally diverse, Chinese, Malay and Indian traditions co-exist in a westernised cosmopolitan metropolis. Singapore is a founder member of ASEAN.
Joined ASEAN: 8 August 1967 (Founder Member)
Head of State: President Tony Tan Keng Yam
Area: 697 square kilometres
Border countries: None
Coastline: 193 kilometres
Capital city: Singapore City
Total population: 5,353,491
Climate: Tropical, hot and humid with two monsoon seasons. Northeastern monsoon from December to March, southwestern monsoon June to September