Society of Singapore



Population per sq km: 7,806

Life expectancy: 82 years

Population: 5,535,000 (2015); 100 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 1.2 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 10 per 1,000 people (23 in 1970); life expectancy 82 years (69 in 1970).

The population is predominantly Chinese (77 per cent in 2000 census), with Malays constituting 14 per cent and Indians eight per cent, and small minorities of Europeans and Eurasians.

Language: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Tamil are the four official languages. Several other Chinese dialects are spoken, the most prevalent being Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew. Singaporeans are mostly bilingual, in a mother tongue and English (the administrative language).

Religion: Buddhists 34 per cent, Christians 17 per cent, Muslims 14 per cent, Taoists 11 per cent and Hindus five per cent (2010 census).

Media: There are many daily newspapers, among which The Straits Times (founded in 1845), The Business Times and Today are in English, and all three are published by Singapore Press Holdings. Other dailies are in Chinese, Tamil or Malay.

MediaCorp, owned by a state investment agency, provides public TV and radio services.

Some 98 per cent of households have TV sets (2006). There are 697 personal computers per 1,000 people (2009).

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, Labour Day (1 May), National Day (9 August) and Christmas Day.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Chinese New Year (two days), Good Friday, Vesak Day (Buddha Purnima, April/May), Hari Raya Puasa (End of Ramadan), Hari Raya Haji (Feast of the Sacrifice) and Deepavali (Diwali, October/November).