The World Factbook (1990)/Singapore

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


See regional map IX


Total area: 632.6 km²; land area: 622.6 km²

Comparative area: slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 193 km

Maritime claims:

Exclusive fishing zone: not specific
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

Natural resources: fish, deepwater ports

Land use: 4% arable land; 7% permanent crops; 0% meadows and pastures; 5% forest and woodland; 84% other

Environment: mostly urban and industrialized

Note: focal point for Southeast Asian sea routes


Population: 2,720,915 (July 1990), growth rate 1.3% (1990)

Birth rate: 18 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 5 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 8 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 72 years male, 77 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.0 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Singaporean(s), adjective—Singapore

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

Religion: majority of Chinese are Buddhists or atheists; Malays nearly all Muslim (minorities include Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Taoists, Confucianists)

Language: Chinese, Malay, Tamil, and English (official); Malay (national)

Literacy: 86.8% (1987)

Labor force: 1,280,000; 34.4% industry, 1.2% agriculture, 61.7% services (1988)

Organized labor: 211,200; 16.5% of labor force (1988)


Long-form name: Republic of Singapore

Type: republic within Commonwealth

Capital: Singapore

Administrative divisions: none

Independence: 9 August 1965 (from Malaysia)

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

National holiday: National Day, 9 August (1965)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, two deputy prime ministers, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—President WEE Kim Wee (since 3 September 1985);

Head of Government—Prime Minister LEE Kuan Yew (since 5 June 1959); First Deputy Prime Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 2 January 1985); Second Deputy Prime Minister ONG Teng Cheong (since 2 January 1985)

Political parties and leaders: government—People's Action Party (PAP), Lee Kuan Yew; opposition—Workers' Party (WP), J. B. Jeyaretnam; Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), Chiam See Tong; National Solidarity Party (NSP), Soon Kia Seng; United People's Front (UPF), Harbans Singh; Barisan Sosialis (BS); Communist party illegal

Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 20

Elections: President—last held 31 August 1989 (next to be held NA August 1993); results—President Wee Kim Wee was reelected by Parliament without opposition;

Parliament—last held 3 September 1988 (next to be held NA September 1993); results—PAP 61.8%, WP 18.4%, SDP 11.5%, NSP 3.7%, UPF 1.3%, others 3.3%; seats—(81 total) PAP 80, SDP 1; note—BS has 1 nonvoting seat

Communists: 200-500; Barisan Sosialis infiltrated by Communists


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Tommy KOH Tong Bee; Chancery at 1824 R Street NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 667-7555; US—Ambassador Robert D. ORR; Embassy at 30 Hill Street, Singapore 0617 (mailing address is FPO San Francisco 96699); telephone [65] 338-0251

Flag: 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


Overview: Singapore has an open entrepreneurial economy with strong service and manufacturing sectors and excellent international trading links derived from its entrepôt history. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the economy expanded rapidly, achieving an average annual growth rate of 9%. Per capita GDP is among the highest in Asia. In 1985 the economy registered its first drop in 20 years and achieved less than a 2% increase in 1986. Recovery was strong. Estimates for 1989 suggest a 9.2% growth rate based on rising demand for Singapore's products in OECD countries, a strong Japanese yen, and improved competitiveness of domestic manufactures.

GDP: $27.5 billion, per capita $10,300; real growth rate 9.2% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.5% (1989 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2% (1989 est.)

Budget: revenues $6.6 billion; expenditures $5.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.2 billion (FY88)

Exports: $46 billion (f.o.b., 1989 est.); commodities—includes transshipments to Malaysia—petroleum products, rubber, electronics, manufactured goods; partners—US 24%, Malaysia 14%, Japan 9%, Thailand 6%, Hong Kong 5%, Australia 3%, FRG 3%

Imports: $53 billion (c.i.f., 1989 est.); commodities—includes transshipments from Malaysia—capital equipment, petroleum, chemicals, manufactured goods, foodstuffs; partners—Japan 22%, US 16%, Malaysia 15%, EC 12%, Kuwait 1%

External debt: $5.2 billion (December 1988)

Industrial production: growth rate 9% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 4,000,000 kW capacity; 12,000 million kWh produced, 4,490 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: occupies a position of minor importance in the economy; self-sufficient in poultry and eggs; must import much of other food; major crops—rubber, copra, fruit, vegetables

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-83), $590 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $882 million

Currency: Singapore dollar (plural—dollars); 1 Singapore dollar (S$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Singapore dollars per US$1—1.8895 (January 1990), 1.9503 (1989), 2.0124 (1988), 2.1060 (1987), 2.1774 (1986), 2.2002 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 April-31 March


Railroads: 38 km of 1.000-meter gauge

Highways: 2,597 km total (1984)

Ports: Singapore

Merchant marine: 407 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,286,824 GRT/11,921,610 DWT; includes 126 cargo, 52 container, 5 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 11 refrigerated cargo, 13 vehicle carrier, 1 livestock carrier, 103 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 5 chemical tanker, 4 combination ore/oil, 1 specialized tanker, 15 liquefied gas, 68 bulk, 3 combination bulk; note—many Singapore flag ships are foreign owned

Civil air: 38 major transport aircraft (est.)

Airports: 6 total, 6 usable; 6 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways over 3,659 m; 2 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 1 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: good domestic facilities; good international service; good radio and television broadcast coverage; 1,110,000 telephones; stations—13 AM, 4 FM, 2 TV; submarine cables extend to Malaysia (Sabah and peninsular Malaysia), Indonesia, and the Philippines; satellite earth stations—1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT and 1 Pacific Ocean INTELSAT

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Reserve

Military manpower: males 15-49, 834,720; 621,497 fit for military service

Defense expenditures: 5% of GDP, or $1.4 billion (1989 est.)