Background: Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, Singapore became part of Malaysia in 1963 but became independent two years later. Subsequently, Singapore became one of the most prosperous countries in the world, with strong international trade links (its port is one of the busiest in the world) and a GDP per capita higher than in the leading countries of Western Europe.
Location: Southeast Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Geographic coordinates: 1° 22′ N. latitude, 103° 48′ E
Reference map: Southeast Asia.
Area: total: 647.5 km2; land surface area: 637.5 km2; water surface area: 10 sq. km.
Comparative area: a little more than 3.5 times the area of Washington, DC.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 193 km.
Maritime claims: zone of exclusive right to fish: within and outside territorial waters, as established by treaties and practice; territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy; but there is no pronounced rainy or dry season; thunderstorms – 40% of the days of the year (including two thirds of the days in April).
Relief: lowland; the slightly hilly central plateau hosts the main catchment areas and natural water storages.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Singapore Strait 0 m; highest point: Bukit Timah 166 m.
Natural resources: fish, deep sea ports.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 6%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 5%; others: 87% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: industrial pollution; limited natural fresh water supplies; lack of land creates problems with waste disposal; seasonal smoke from forest fires in Indonesia.
International environmental treaties: party to: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Hazardous waste, Law of the sea, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection, Ship pollution; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the “Geography” section: located at the crossroads of the sea routes of Southeast Asia.
Population: 4,300,419 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 17.89% (male 397,142; female 372,058); 15 to 64 years old: 75.16% (male 1,575,381; female 1,656,838); over 65: 6.95% (male 130,815; female 168,203) (2001 est.);
Population growth: 3.5% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 12.8 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 4.24 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 26.45 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.08 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.07 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.95 male/female; over 65: 0.78 male/female; for the general population: 0.96 male/female (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 3.62 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 80.17 years; men: 77.22 years; women: 83.35 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.22 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.19% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 4,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 210 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Singaporean; adjective: Singaporean.
Ethnic groups: Chinese 76.77%, Malays 14%, Indians 7.9%, other 1.4%.
Believers: Buddhists (Chinese), Muslims (Malays), Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Taoists, Confucians.
Languages): Chinese (official), Malay (official and national), Tamil (official), English (official).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 93.5%; men: 97%; women: 89.8% (1999).
Common long form: Republic of Singapore;
Common short form: Singapore.
State structure: parliamentary republic. See politicsezine.com to know more about Singapore Political System.
Administrative division: no.
Independence: August 9, 1965 (until 1965 – as part of the Federation of Malaysia).
National holiday: Independence Day, 9 August (since 1965).
Constitution: adopted June 3, 1959, amended 1965
Legal system: based on English common law; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 21 years old; universal and mandatory.
chief of state: President Sellapan Rama NATHAN (since 1 September 1999);
head of government: Prime Minister GOH Chok Tong (since 28 November 1990) and Deputy Prime Ministers LEE Hsien Loong (since 28 November 1990) and Tony TAN Keng Yam (Tony TAN Keng Yam) (since August 1, 1995);
government: cabinet appointed by the president, accountable to parliament; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a 6-year term; elections last held 28 August 1999 (next to be held in August 2005); following parliamentary elections, the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition as prime minister; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president; Election results: Sellapan Rama NATHAN elected President, being the only candidate.
Legislature: unicameral Parliament (83 seats; members are elected by popular vote for 5-year terms); elections: last held 2 January 1997 (next to be held in 2002); election results: distribution of votes between parties: PAP 65% (disputed), other 35%; distribution of seats among parties: PAP 81, WP 1, SPP 1; note – subsequent elections have changed the distribution of seats, the new distribution is as follows: PAP 80 seats, WP 1, SPP 1, vacant 1.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, Chief Justice appointed by the President in consultation with the Prime Minister, other judges appointed by the President in consultation with the Chairman court; Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: People’s Action Party (PAP) (GOH Chok Tong, General Secretary), ruling party; Democratic Party of Singapore (SDP) (CHI Soon Juan [SNEE Soon Juan]); Singapore People’s Party (SPP) (CHIAM See Tong); Workers’ Party (WP) (JEYARETNAM [J. B. JEYARETNAM]).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ARES, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, Australia Group (observer), BIS, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNTAET, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador CHAN Heng Chee; office: 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 537-3100; fax:  (202) 537-0876; Consulate: New York.
US diplomatic mission: head of mission: seat vacant; embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508; mailing address: FPO AP 96507; phone:  476-9100; fax:  476-9340.
Description of the flag: two equal horizontal stripes of red (top) and white; near the pole on the red stripe, a white crescent (with its convex side towards the pole) partially surrounds five white five-pointed stars arranged in a circle.