Skyline of the Singapore business district. The larger of two Merlions (half fish-half lion creatures) may be seen spouting along the pier. Singapore is one of the world's leading financial centers.
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A Malay trading port known as Temasek existed on the island of Singapore by the 14th century. The settlement changed hands several times in the ensuing centuries and was eventually burned in the 17th century and fell into obscurity. The British founded modern Singapore as a trading colony on the site 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.

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Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia

Geographic coordinates

1 22 N, 103 48 E

Map references

Southeast Asia


total: 719 sq km

land: 709.2 sq km

water: 10 sq km

country comparison to the world: 190

Area - comparative

slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 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


highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m

lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m

Natural resources

fish, deepwater ports

Land use

agricultural land: 1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 3.3% (2018 est.)

other: 95.7% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Population distribution

most of the urbanization is along the southern coast, with relatively dense population clusters found in the central areas

Natural hazards

flash floods

Geography - note

focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes; consists of about 60 islands, by far the largest of which is Pulau Ujong; land reclamation has removed many former islands and created a number of new ones

People and Society


noun: Singaporean(s)

adjective: Singapore

Ethnic groups

Chinese 74.2%, Malay 13.7%, Indian 8.9%, other 3.2% (2021 est.)

note: data represent population by self-identification; the population is divided into four categories: Chinese, Malay (includes indigenous Malays and Indonesians), Indian (includes Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or Sri Lankan), and other ethnic groups (includes Eurasians, Caucasians, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese)


English (official) 48.3%, Mandarin (official) 29.9%, other Chinese dialects (includes Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka) 8.7%, Malay (official) 9.2%, Tamil (official) 2.5%, other 1.4%; note - data represent language most frequently spoken at home (2020 est.)

major-language sample(s):
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Buddhist 31.1%, Christian 18.9%, Muslim 15.6%, Taoist 8.8%, Hindu 5%, other 0.6%, none 20% (2020 est.)

Demographic profile

Singapore has one of the lowest total fertility rates (TFR) in the world – an average of 1.15 children born per woman – and a rapidly aging population.  Women’s expanded educations, widened aspirations, and a desire to establish careers has contributed to delayed marriage and smaller families. Most married couples have only one or two children in order to invest more in each child, including the high costs of education.  In addition, more and more Singaporeans, particularly women, are staying single.  Factors contributing to this trend are a focus on careers, long working hours, the high cost of living, and long waits for public housing.    With fertility at such a low rate and rising life expectancy, the proportion of the population aged 65 or over is growing and the youth population is shrinking.  Singapore is projected to experience one of the largest percentage point increases in the elderly share of the population at 21% between 2019 and 2050, according to the UN.  The working-age population (aged 15-64) will gradually decrease, leaving fewer workers to economically support the elderly population.

Migration has played a key role in Singapore’s development.  As Singapore’s economy expanded during the 19th century, more and more Chinese, Indian, and Malay labor immigrants arrived.  Most of Singapore’s pre-World War II population growth was a result of immigration.  During World War II, immigration came to a halt when the Japanese occupied the island but revived in the postwar years.  Policy was restrictive during the 1950s and 1960s, aiming to protect jobs for residents by reducing the intake of low-skilled foreign workers and focusing instead on attracting professionals from abroad with specialist skills.  Consequently, the nonresident share of Singapore’s population plummeted to less than 3%. 

As the country industrialized, however, it loosened restrictions on the immigration of manual workers.  From the 1980s through the 2000s, the foreign population continued to grow as a result of policies aimed at attracting foreign workers of all skill levels.  More recently, the government has instituted immigration policies that target highly skilled workers. Skilled workers are encouraged to stay and are given the opportunity to become permanent residents or citizens.  The country, however, imposes restrictions on unskilled and low-skilled workers to ensure they do not establish roots, including prohibiting them from bringing their families and requiring employers to pay a monthly foreign worker levy and security bond.  The country has also become increasingly attractive to international students. The growth of the foreign-born population has continued to be rapid; as of 2015, the foreign-born composed 46% of the total population.  At the same time, growing numbers of Singaporeans are emigrating for education and work experience in highly skilled sectors such finance, information technology, and medicine.  Increasingly, the moves abroad are permanent.

Age structure

0-14 years: 12.8% (male 406,983/female 387,665)

15-24 years: 15.01% (male 457,190/female 474,676)

25-54 years: 50.73% (male 1,531,088/female 1,618,844)

55-64 years: 10.58% (male 328,024/female 328,808)

65 years and over: 10.89% (male 310,123/female 366,259) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 35.4

youth dependency ratio: 16.2

elderly dependency ratio: 19.1

potential support ratio: 5.2 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 35.6 years

male: 35.4 years

female: 35.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82

Birth rate

9.05 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 202

Death rate

4.04 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 213

Net migration rate

4.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Population distribution

most of the urbanization is along the southern coast, with relatively dense population clusters found in the central areas


urban population: 100% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.74% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

6.081 million SINGAPORE (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

30.5 years (2015 est.)

note: data represents median age

Maternal mortality ratio

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 153

Infant mortality rate

total: 1.55 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 1.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 1.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 226

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 86.35 years

male: 83.65 years

female: 89.2 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.1% of GDP (2019)

Physicians density

2.46 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

2.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.81 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.26 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.27 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.24 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.04 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 132

Tobacco use

total: 16.5% (2020 est.)

male: 28% (2020 est.)

female: 5% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 99


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.5%

male: 98.9%

female: 96.1% (2019)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 17 years

male: 16 years

female: 17 years (2020)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 7.5%

male: 5%

female: 10.2% (2021 est.)


Environment - current issues

water pollution; industrial pollution; limited natural freshwater resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal problems; air pollution; deforestation; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, 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

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 18.26 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 37.54 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 4.4 megatons (2020 est.)


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

Land use

agricultural land: 1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0% (2018 est.)

forest: 3.3% (2018 est.)

other: 95.7% (2018 est.)


urban population: 100% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.74% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 166

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 7,704,300 tons (2017 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 4,699,623 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 61% (2015 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 296.73 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 336.294 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 26.376 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

600 million cubic meters (2017 est.)


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 "simha" (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)

etymology: name derives from the Sanskrit words simha (lion) and pura (city), thus creating the city's epithet "lion city"

Administrative divisions

no first order administrative divisions; there are five community development councils: Central Singapore Development Council, North East Development Council, North West Development Council, South East Development Council, South West Development Council (2019)


9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)

National holiday

National Day, 9 August (1965)


history: several previous; latest adopted 22 December 1965

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage requires two-thirds majority vote in the second and third readings by the elected Parliament membership and assent of the president of the republic; passage of amendments affecting sovereignty or control of the Police Force or the Armed Forces requires at least two-thirds majority vote in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2020

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 HALIMAH Yacob (since 14 September 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong (since 12 August 2004)

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 fixed term of 6 years (there are no term limits); election last held on 13 September 2017 (next to be held in 2023); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or majority coalition appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president

election results: 2017: HALIMAH Yacob was declared president on 13 September 2017, being the only eligible candidate

2011: 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 (independent) 4.9%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (104 seats statutory, 103 current term; 93 members directly elected by simple majority popular vote, up to 9 nominated by a parliamentary selection committee and appointed by the president, and up to 12 non-constituency members from opposition parties to ensure political diversity; members serve 5-year terms); note - the number of nominated members increased to 12 for the 2020 election for the first time (2021)

elections: last held on 10 July 2020 (next must be held by 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 89.2%, WP 10.6%, other 0.2%; seats by party - PAP 83, WP 10; composition of total Parliament - men 73, women 30, percent of women 29.1%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (although the number of judges varies - as of April 2019, the court totaled 20 judges, 7 judicial commissioners, 4 judges of appeal, and 16 international judges); the court is organized into an upper tier Appeal Court and a lower tier High Court

judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president from candidates recommended by the prime minister after consultation with the chief justice; judges usually serve until retirement at age 65, but terms can be extended

subordinate courts: district, magistrates', juvenile, family, community, and coroners' courts; small claims tribunals; employment claims tribunals

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [Mohamad Hamim BIN ALIYA]
National Solidarity Party or NSP [Spencer NG]
People's Action Party or PAP [LEE Hsien Loong]
People's Power Party or PPP [Goh Meng SENG]
People's Voice or PV [Lim TEAN]
Progress Singapore Party or PSP [Francis YUEN]
Red Dot United or RDU [Ravi PHILEMON]
Reform Party or RP [Kenneth JEYARETNAM]
Singapore Democratic Alliance or SDA [Desmond LIM]
Singapore Democratic Party or SDP [Dr. CHEE Soon Juan]
Singapore Malay National Organisation or PKMS [Muhammad Hairullah AHMAD]
Singapore People's Party or SPP [Steve CHIA]
Singapore United Party or SUP [Andy ZHU]
Workers' Party or WP [Pritam SINGH]

note: the PAP has won every general election since the end of the British colonial era in 1959

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 30 July 2012)

chancery: 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 537-3100

FAX: [1] (202) 537-0876

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: San Francisco

consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jonathan KAPLAN (since December 2021)

embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508

mailing address: 4280 Singapore Place, Washington DC  20521-4280

telephone: [65] 6476-9100

FAX: [65] 6476-9340

email address and website:

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Singapore Botanic Gardens


Economic overview

Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys an 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 depends heavily on exports, particularly of electronics, petroleum products, chemicals, medical and optical devices, pharmaceuticals, and on Singapore’s vibrant transportation, business, and financial services sectors.


The economy contracted 0.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but has continued to grow since 2010. Growth from 2012-2017 was slower than during the previous decade, a result of slowing structural growth - as Singapore reached high-income levels - and soft global demand for exports. Growth recovered to 3.6% in 2017 with a strengthening global economy.


The government is attempting to restructure Singapore’s economy to reduce its dependence on foreign labor, raise productivity growth, and increase wages amid slowing labor force growth and an aging population. Singapore has attracted major investments in advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology production and will continue efforts to strengthen its position as Southeast Asia's leading financial and technology hub. Singapore is a signatory of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and a party to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations with nine other ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand. In 2015, Singapore formed, with the other ASEAN members, the ASEAN Economic Community.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$531.04 billion (2020 est.)

$561.3 billion (2019 est.)

$553.85 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 37

Real GDP growth rate

0.73% (2019 est.)

3.48% (2018 est.)

4.34% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 179

Real GDP per capita

$93,400 (2020 est.)

$98,400 (2019 est.)

$98,200 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 4

GDP (official exchange rate)

$372.088 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.5% (2019 est.)

0.4% (2018 est.)

0.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (2003)

Moody's rating: Aaa (2002)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (1995)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0% (2017 est.)

industry: 24.8% (2017 est.)

services: 75.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 35.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 10.9% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 2.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 173.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -149.1% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

poultry, eggs, vegetables, pork, duck meat, spinach, pig offals, bird eggs, pig fat, cabbages


electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, biomedical products, scientific instruments, telecommunication equipment, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, entrepot trade

Labor force

3.778 million (2019 est.)

note: excludes non-residents

country comparison to the world: 92

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 0.7%

industry: 25.6%

services: 73.7% (2017)

note: excludes non-residents

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.6%

highest 10%: 27.5% (2017)


revenues: 50.85 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 51.87 billion (2017 est.)

note: expenditures include both operational and development expenditures

Public debt

111.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

106.8% of GDP (2016 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-tradable; the government has not borrowed to finance deficit expenditures since the 1980s; Singapore has no external public debt

country comparison to the world: 11

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Current account balance

$63.109 billion (2019 est.)

$64.042 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8


$599.2 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$658.54 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$665.7 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 10

Exports - partners

China 15%, Hong Kong 13%, Malaysia 9%, United States 8%, Indonesia 7%, India 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

integrated circuits, refined petroleum, gold, gas turbines, packaged medicines (2019)


$490.68 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$552.71 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$557.49 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 12

Imports - partners

China 16%, Malaysia 11%, United States 9%, Taiwan 7%, Japan 5%, Indonesia 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

integrated circuits, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, gold, gas turbines (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$279.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$271.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Debt - external

$1,557,646,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,528,177,000,000 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Exchange rates

Singapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar -

1.33685 (2020 est.)

1.35945 (2019 est.)

1.3699 (2018 est.)

1.3748 (2014 est.)

1.2671 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)


installed generating capacity: 12.24 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 50,742,380,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 571 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 96.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 2.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 423,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 1,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 424,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 1.448 million bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 13,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 1,121,200 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 13,396,282,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 550.818 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 14,727,709,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

238.983 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1.588 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 211.115 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 26.28 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1.891 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 32 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 57

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 9,034,300 (2019)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 156 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 93

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: a wealthy city-state, Singapore has a highly developed ICT infrastructure; government supported near universal home broadband penetration and free public access to wireless network; the government's telecommunication regulator, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), issued awards in mid-2020 to telecom operators with the goal of having at least 50% of the city-state covered with a standalone 5G network by the end of 2022; government actively promoting Smart Nation initiative supporting digital innovation; government oversees service providers and controls Internet content; well served by submarine cable and satellite connections (2021)

domestic: excellent domestic facilities; fixed-line roughly 32 per 100 and mobile-cellular 144 per 100 teledensity; multiple providers of high-speed Internet connectivity (2020)

international: country code - 65; landing points for INDIGO-West, SeaMeWe -3,-4,-5, SIGMAR, SJC, i2icn, PGASCOM, BSCS, IGG, B3JS, SAEx2, APCN-2, APG, ASC, SEAX-1, ASE, EAC-C2C, Matrix Cable System and SJC2 submarine cables providing links throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 3, Bukit Timah, Seletar, and Sentosa; supplemented by VSAT coverage (2019 )

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

state controls broadcast media; 6 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 services available; a total of 19 domestic radio stations broadcasting, with MediaCorp operating 11, Singapore Press Holdings, also government-linked, another 5, 2 controlled by the Singapore Armed Forces Reservists Association and one owned by BBC Radio; Malaysian and Indonesian radio stations are available as is BBC; a number of Internet service radio stations are also available (2019)

Internet users

total: 5,230,942 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 92% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 87

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,509,700 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 26 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 66


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 230

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 40,401,515 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 5,194,900,000 (2018) mt-km

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 (2021)


3,220 km domestic gas (2014), 1,122 km cross-border pipelines (2017), 8 km refined products (2013) (2013)


total: 3,500 km (2017)

paved: 3,500 km (2017) (includes 164 km of expressways)

country comparison to the world: 158

Merchant marine

total: 3,321

by type: bulk carrier 576, container ship 514, general cargo 113, oil tanker 699, other 1,419 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 8

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Singapore

container port(s) (TEUs): Singapore (37,195,636) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Singapore

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Singapore Armed Forces (SAF; aka Singapore Defense Force): Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy, Republic of Singapore Air Force (includes air defense); Ministry of Home Affairs: Singapore Police Force (includes Police Coast Guard and the Gurkha Contingent) (2022)

note 1: the Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force (GCSPF) is a paramilitary unit for riot control and acts as a rapid reaction force 

note 2:
 in 2022, the SAF announced that it would form a Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) by the end of the year

note 3: in 2009, Singapore established a multi-agency national Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) to work with law enforcement and maritime agencies to guard Singapore’s waters, including conducting daily patrols, as well as boarding and escort operations in the Singapore Strait; the MSTF is subordinate to the Singapore Navy

Military expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2021 est.)

3% of GDP (2020)

2.9% of GDP (2019) (approximately $15 billion)

2.9% of GDP (2018) (approximately $14.8 billion)

3% of GDP (2017) (approximately $14.8 billion)

country comparison to the world: 29

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 60,000 active duty troops (45,000 Army; 7,000 Navy; 8,000 Air Force) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the SAF has a diverse and largely modern mix of domestically-produced and imported weapons; since 2010, the US has been the chief supplier of arms; other significant suppliers include France, Germany, Israel, and Sweden; Singapore has the most developed arms industry in Southeast Asia and is also its largest importer of weapons (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-21 years of age for compulsory military service for men; 16.5 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental consent); 24-month conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers); women are not conscripted, but they are allowed to volunteer for all services and branches, including combat arms (2022)

note 1: under the Enlistment Act, all male Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, unless exempted, are required to enter National Service (NS) upon attaining the age of 18; most NS conscripts serve in the Armed Forces, but some go into the Police Force or Civil Defense Force; as of 2020, conscripts comprised over half of the defense establishment

note 2: as of 2017, women made up about 7% of the active force

note 3: members of the Gurkha Contingent (GC) of the Singapore Police Force are mostly recruited from a small number of hill tribes in Nepal; the GC was formed in 1949 originally from selected ex-British Army Gurkhas

Military deployments

maintains permanent training detachments of military personnel in Australia, France, and the US (2022)

Military - note

Singapore is a member of the Five Powers Defense Arrangements (FPDA), a series of mutual assistance agreements reached in 1971 embracing Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK; the FPDA commits the members to consult with one another in the event or threat of an armed attack on any of the members and to mutually decide what measures should be taken, jointly or separately; there is no specific obligation to intervene militarily

the SAF's roots go back to 1854 when the Singapore Volunteer Rifle Corps was formed under colonial rule; the first battalion of regular soldiers, the First Singapore Infantry Regiment, was organized in 1957; the modern SAF was established in 1965; as of 2022, the SAF was widely viewed as the best equipped military in southeast Asia; the Army was largely based on conscripts and reservists with a small cadre of professional soldiers, while the Air Force and Navy were primarily comprised of well-trained professionals (2022)

Maritime threats

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; the Singapore Straits saw 35 attacks against commercial vessels in 2021, a 50% increase over 2020 and the highest number of incidents reported since 1992; vessels were boarded in 33 of the 35 incidents, one crew was injured, another assaulted and two threatened during these incidents

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait

Singapore-Indonesia: Indonesia and Singapore continue to work on finalization of their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Indonesia's Batam Island; subsequent treaties were signed in 2009 (ratified in 2010) and 2014 (ratified in 2017) settling the two countries’ boundaries in the Singapore Strait

Singapore-Malaysia: disputes with Malaysia over territorial waters, airspace, the price of fresh water delivered to Singapore from Malaysia, Singapore's extensive land reclamation works, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits; in 2008, the International Court of Justice 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, which is only visible at low tide

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 1,109 (mid-year 2021)

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