Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore (Malay: Republik Singapura; Chinese: 新加坡共和 is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. At the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia’s Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north, Singapore’s territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23% (130 square
Singapore is a global hub for education, entertainment, finance, healthcare, human capital, innovation, logistics, manufacturing, technology, tourism, trade, and transport. The city ranks highly in numerous international rankings, and has been recognized as the most “technology-ready” nation (World Economic Forum), top International-meetings city (Union of International Associations), city with “best investment potential” (BERI), world’s smartest city, world’s safest country, second-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, fifth-most innovative country, and the second-busiest container port. The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive city to live in, since 2013. It is identified as a tax haven and Singapore is the only country in Asia with an “AAA” sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, and one of 11 worldwide. Globally, the Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of leading “Maritime Capital” and “Best Airport” respectively for consecutive years, while Singapore Airlines is the 2018 “World’s Best Airline”.
Singapore ranks 9th on the UN Human Development Index with the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is placed highly in key social indicators: education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. According to the Democracy Index, the country is described as a “flawed democracy”. The Singaporean passport is second in the world after Japan for visa-free travel granted by the most countries to its citizens.[
The city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents. There are four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil; most Singaporeans are bilingual and English serves as the nation’s lingua franca. Its cultural diversity is reflected in its extensive ethnic cuisine and major festivals. Pew Research has found that Singapore has the highest religious diversity of any country. Multiracialism has been enshrined in its constitution since independence, and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, politics, among others.
Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People’s Action Party has won every election since self-government began in 1959. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) Secretariat, as well as many international conferences and events. It is also a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations.