1. Introduction

Singapore’s human geography is shaped by the fact that it is a city-state. It is both the country and capital. Despite being a tiny nation, it is one of the most developed nations on the planet. And, without doubt, the most developed nation in Southeast Asia today.

Photo: Singapore’s human geography – the city-state at night (Creative Commons: Leong Him Woh).

2. Ethnic Groups and Language

Chinese 74%
Malay 13%
Indian 9%
Other 4%

Chart: Ethnic Groups of Singapore

Ethnic Groups: Singapore has a mixed population. The Chinese are a majority of the population (74%). However, there is a sizable number of Malay (13%) and Indian (9%) people as well. The remaining 4% belong to various other minority groups.

Language: The official languages of the country are Mandarin (36%), English (30%) and Malay (12%). Cantonese, Tamil, Teochew, and others account for the remaining languages used (22%).

3. Religions

Buddhism 34%
Islam 14%
Taoism 11%
Christianity 18%
Other 23%

Chart: Religions of Singapore

Religion: The majority religions of Singapore is Buddhism (34%). It is followed by Islam (14%), Taoism (11%), Christianity (18%) and other religious groups (23%).

4. Demographics

Singapore 169%
World 100%
USA 74%

Chart: Population Growth Rate Index (World = 100%)

The population of Singapore is about 5.8 million people. It is the 114th most populated country in the world. The entire population (100%) lives in an urban area. Singapore is the capital city with a population of about 5.8 million people.

The population growth rate is about 1.9% a year. This is higher than that of the United States (0.81%) and about the same as the world (1.1%). The country has a moderately high population growth rate. Life expectancy is 85 years of age. This is in the upper end of the scale in comparison to other countries.

5. Economy

Chart: Economic Sectors

Nearly three-fourths of the labor force works in the service sector (74%). The manufacturing sector accounts for the remaining 26% of the workforce. There is essentially no one working in the agricultural sector. 

Major industries are machinery and equipment, electronics and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, refined petroleum products, and food products.

6. Economic Development

Singapore 85300 $US
World 13100 $US
USA 52800 $US

Chart: per capita GDP

Singapore’s per capita gross domestic product is $85,300. The per capita GDP is one of the highest in the world. This compares to the world’s average ($13,100) and the USA ($52,800). Singapore is a highly developed country.

7. Political

The official name of Singapore is the Republic of Singapore. 

The capital of Singapore is Singapore. Singapore is a parliamentary republic. The country achieved independence from the Malaysian Federation in 1965.

8. Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills

Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.


How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.

9. Bibliography

Singapore, Infoplease.


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