Singapore

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 10, 2011
Flag of Singapore
(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
Location of Singapore
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Map of Singapore
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Photos of Singapore
 
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OF SINGAPORE
 

Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
 
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1 22 N, 103 48 E
 
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total: 697 sq km
country comparison to the world: 192
land: 687 sq km
water: 10 sq km
 
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slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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193 km
 
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territorial sea: 3 nm
exclusive fishing zone: within and beyond territorial sea, as defined in treaties and practice
 
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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
 
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lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve
 
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lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m
highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m
 
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fish, deepwater ports
 
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arable land: 1.47%
permanent crops: 1.47%
other: 97.06% (2005)
 
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NA
 
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0.6 cu km (1975)
 
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total: 0.19 cu km/yr (45%/51%/4%)
per capita: 44 cu m/yr (1975)
 
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NA
 
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industrial pollution; limited natural freshwater resources; limited land availability presents waste disposal problems; seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
 
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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
 
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focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes
 
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People and Society

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noun: Singaporean(s)
adjective: Singapore
 
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Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)
 
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Mandarin (official) 35%, English (official) 23%, Malay (official) 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil (official) 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)
 
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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)
 
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4,740,737 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
 
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0-14 years: 13.8% (male 338,419/female 314,704)
15-64 years: 77% (male 1,774,444/female 1,874,985)
65 years and over: 9.2% (male 196,101/female 242,084) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 40.1 years
male: 39.6 years
female: 40.6 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.817% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
 
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8.5 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
 
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4.95 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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4.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
 
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urban population: 100% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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at birth: 1.077 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
 
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9 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 148
 
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total: 2.32 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 222
male: 2.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 82.14 years
country comparison to the world: 7
male: 79.53 years
female: 84.96 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.11 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 221
 
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3.9% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 168
 
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1.833 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
country comparison to the world: 72
 
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3.14 beds/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2008)
 
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0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
 
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3,400 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
 
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fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
 
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6.9% (2004)
country comparison to the world: 61
 
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3.3% (2000)
country comparison to the world: 103
 
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3% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 96.6%
female: 88.6% (2000 census)
 
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NA
 
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total: 12.9%
country comparison to the world: 87
male: 9.9%
female: 16.6% (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore
 
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parliamentary republic
 
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name: Singapore
geographic coordinates: 1 17 N, 103 51 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
 
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none
 
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9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
 
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National Day, 9 August (1965)
 
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3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on pre-independence State of Singapore Constitution)
 
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English common law
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
 
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21 years of age; universal and compulsory
 
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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 Minister TEO Chee Hean (since 1 April 2009) and Deputy Prime Minister THARMAN Shanmugaratnam (since 21 May 2011); Senior Minister HENG Chee How (since 21 May 2011)
cabinet: appointed by president, responsible to parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; election last held on 27 August 2011 (next election to be held by August 2017); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by president
election results: Tony TAN Keng Yam elected president from a field of four candidates with 35.2% of the votes cast
 
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unicameral Parliament (87 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 7 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 60.1%, WP 12.8%, NSP 12.1%, others 15%; seats by party - PAP 81, WP 6
 
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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
 
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National Solidarity Party or NSP [GOH Meng Seng]; People's Action Party or PAP [LEE Hsien Loong]; Reform Party [NG Teck Siong]; 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
 
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none
 
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ADB, AOSIS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIS, C, CP, EAS, FATF, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIT, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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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
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador David I. ADELMAN
embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508
mailing address: FPO AP 96507-0001
telephone: [65] 6476-9100
FAX: [65] 6476-9340
 
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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
 
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lion
 
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name: "Majulah Singapura" (Onward Singapore)
lyrics/music: ZUBIR Said
note: adopted 1965; the anthem, which was first performed in 1958 at the Victoria Theatre, is sung only in Malay
 
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Economy

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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. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing financial services sector. Real GDP growth averaged 7.1% between 2004 and 2007. The economy contracted 1.3% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but rebounded nearly 14.7% in 2010, on the strength of renewed exports. Over the longer term, the government hopes to establish a new growth path that focuses on raising productivity, which has sunk to 1% growth per year in the last decade. Singapore 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.
 
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$291.9 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$255.1 billion (2009 est.)
$257 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$222.7 billion (2010 est.)
 
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14.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
-0.8% (2009 est.)
1.5% (2008 est.)
 
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$62,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
$54,800 (2009 est.)
$55,800 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 0%
industry: 28.3%
services: 71.7% (2010 est.)
 
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3.156 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
 
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agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 30.2%
services: 69.7% (2010)
 
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2.2% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
3% (2009 est.)
 
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NA%
 
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lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 23.2% (2008)
 
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47.8 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 28
48.1 (2008)
 
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25% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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revenues: $32.7 billion
expenditures: $32.31 billion
note: expenditures include both operational and development expenditures (2010 est.)
 
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14.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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0.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
 
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105.8% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
109.3% of GDP (2009 est.)
note: for Singapore, 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-tradeable; the government has not borrowed to finance deficit expenditures since the 1980s
 
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2.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
0.6% (2009 est.)
 
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NA% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
0.27% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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5.38% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
5.38% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$87.35 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
$66.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$313.1 billion (30 November 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$264.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$202.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$172.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$620.5 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 20
$474.3 billion (31 December 2009)
$268.6 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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orchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish
 
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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
 
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29.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1
 
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39.21 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
 
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37.11 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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0 kWh (2009 est.)
 
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10,910 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
 
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1.08 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
 
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1.374 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
 
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2.052 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
 
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0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
 
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9.66 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
 
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9.66 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192
 
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$46.27 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
$32.63 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$358.4 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$273.4 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, mineral fuels
 
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Malaysia 11.9%, Hong Kong 11.7%, China 10.4%, Indonesia 9.4%, US 6.5%, Japan 4.7%, South Korea 4.1% (2010)
 
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$310.4 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
$243.2 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods
 
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Malaysia 11.7%, US 11.5%, China 10.8%, Japan 7.9%, South Korea 5.8%, Indonesia 5.4% (2010)
 
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$225.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$187.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$21.82 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
$20.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$298.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
$260.5 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$173.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$167.4 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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Singapore dollars (SGD) per US dollar -
1.3702 (2010)
1.4545 (2009)
1.415 (2008)
1.507 (2007)
1.5889 (2006)
 
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Communications

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1.984 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 58
 
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7.307 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 86
 
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general assessment: excellent service
domestic: excellent domestic facilities; launched 3G wireless service in February 2005; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is more than 180 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 (2008)
 
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state controls broadcast media; 8 domestic TV stations operated by MediaCorp, wholly owned by a state investment company; broadcasts from Malaysian and Indonesian stations available; satellite dishes banned; multi-channel cable TV service is accessible; a total of 18 domestic radio stations broadcasting with MediaCorp operating more than a dozen and another 4 stations are closely linked to the ruling party or controlled by the Singapore Armed Forces Reservists Association; large number of Malaysian and Indonesian radio stations are available (2008)
 
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.sg
 
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992,786 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 44
 
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3.235 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 65
 
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Transportation

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8 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 162
 
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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 (2010)
 
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gas 111 km (2010)
 
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total: 3,356 km
country comparison to the world: 163
paved: 3,356 km (includes 161 km of expressways) (2009)
 
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total: 1,422
country comparison to the world: 6
by type: bulk carrier 183, cargo 88, carrier 6, chemical tanker 233, container 321, liquefied gas 117, petroleum tanker 404, refrigerated cargo 5, roll on/roll off 13, vehicle carrier 52
foreign-owned: 850 (Australia 11, Bangladesh 2, Bermuda 21, Chile 7, China 26, Cyprus 3, Denmark 125, France 3, Germany 30, Greece 19, Hong Kong 38, India 19, Indonesia 53, Italy 3, Japan 146, Malaysia 27, Netherlands 1, Norway 132, Slovenia 1, South Africa 3, South Korea 9, Sweden 9, Switzerland 4, Taiwan 79, Thailand 30, UAE 10, UK 6, US 33)
note: this country allows large numbers of ships owned by foreign entities to be registered in its national shipping registry and to fly its flag; these ships operate under the laws of the flag state
registered in other countries: 327 (Australia 2, Bahamas 7, Bangladesh 3, Belize 7, Cambodia 4, Cyprus 1, Dominica 1, France 3, Gibraltar 1, Honduras 12, Hong Kong 13, Indonesia 42, Isle of Man 1, Kiribati 11, Liberia 27, Malaysia 19, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 28, Mongolia 1, North Korea 2, Panama 79, Philippines 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 5, Sierra Leone 5, Thailand 1, Tuvalu 25, US 17, unknown 6) (2010)
 
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Singapore
 
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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
 
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Military

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Singapore Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense) (2010)
 
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18-21 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 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers) (2008)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,255,902 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,018,839
females age 16-49: 1,087,134 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 27,098
female: 25,368 (2010 est.)
 
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4.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17
 
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Transnational Issues

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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 awards sovereignty of Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) to Singapore, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but does 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
 
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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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