The population of Singapore involves the population density, ethnic groups, distinct cultures, and business communities which have resided in Singapore over the years. As of July 2019, the population of Singapore stands at 5,871,757 based on the estimate given by the United Nations. The country, known as the Republic of Singapore, is located in Southeast Asia. It is an island country situated off the coast of the Malay Peninsula and is 137 kilometres north of the equator. The area of Singapore is 710 square kilometres, and the country is ranked 114th in the world with regard to population.
The Singapore population growth rate is 0.81% as of 2019. The city is a melting pot of diverse cultures because of the easing of immigration policies that the government put in place many years ago. There are people of various races and nationalities living in Singapore. This also makes the nation suitable for investors as they can find employees for different white-collar as well as blue-collar jobs.
Singapore has four official languages which are Malay, Mandarin, English, and Tamil. Malay is the national language, while English is the primary working language in the country. The English language is also used as the medium of instruction in schools and other educational institutions, but students are taught second languages such as Malay, Tamil, or Mandarin.
Other than the main languages spoken in Singapore, the locals also speak Singlish, a patois language. This language is known as Singapore Colloquial English by academicians. Due to the rich and diverse cultures that exist in Singapore, there are many colorful festivals celebrated in the city-state and hard-working people from various communities. The liberalism and relatively low tax burden in the country have made foreigners work easily and settle quickly. The Prime Minister is the head of the government in Singapore. The present Prime Minister of Singapore is Lee Hsien Loong, the third Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore.
Various Ethnic Groups in Singapore
The population of Singapore mainly consists of the Chinese, Malays, and Indians. However, there are also many Eurasians as well as people of Pakistani, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, and Sri Lankan descent. The country came under the British colonial system that brought many changes to the history of the country. The original inhabitants were Malay people who were fishermen and generally spoke the Malay language.
The arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in the country in the year 1819 changed much about Singapore. It remained a British trading colony and outpost where local business flourished. Schools were established to teach native languages. In the year 1823, the first constitution of Singapore was drafted; it outlawed slavery and gambling. This also made people from various communities and merchants move to Singapore, making it a vast business community and leading to the development of the economy.
The primary ethnic groups residing in Singapore are as follows:
- Chinese, who constitute 76.2% of the population
- Malays, who constitute 15% of the population
- Indians, who constitute 7.4% of the population
- Eurasians, who constitute less than 1% of the population
The community in Singapore is ethnically diverse with various ethnic groups such as Chinese, Malay, and Tamil playing essential roles in the development of the country. This unique combination of people makes them hardworking and disciplined. It also helps them follow a principle-based approach towards their business.
People living in Singapore dwell in the public housing system which is mostly comprised of four-room flats set up by the Housing and Development Board. More than 31% of the Singaporeans live in this type of housing system. The number of people living in apartments and condominiums has risen over the past few decades. More than 15% of the population live in an apartment or condominium. Foreigners who choose to live in Singapore might go on to possess permanent residency there.
Culture of Singapore
The culture of Singapore is diverse. Many racial and religious groups in Singapore make the country’s festival celebrations colorful. There are harmonious interactions amongst the various cultural groups in Singapore. All year round, there are many vibrant festivals in the country. There are many distinct religions in Singapore including the following:
- Buddhism (33.2% of the population)
- Taoism (11% of the population)
- Christianity (18.7% of the population)
- Islam (14% of the population)
- Hinduism (5% of the population)
- Sikhism and other religions (0.6% of the population)
The government encourages religious harmony amongst the people residing in Singapore. One of the various examples of this religious harmony can be seen in the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple which is located on Loyang Way. It has ties to the three religions of Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism.
Another example can be seen on South Bridge Road, where one can find the Sri Mariamman Temple and Masjid Jamae. These examples showcase the religious harmony and respect towards all religions in the country.
The festivals celebrated in Singapore also reflect the mixture of various ethnic groups. Places such as Chinatown, Geylang, and Little India come to life during celebrations. The following are some of the festivals that are celebrated across the country with great pomp and excitement:
- Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year is celebrated each year in either January or February. Visitors can enjoy the Chingay parade and dragon dance at Marina Bay.
- National Day is celebrated every year on August 9 and is one of the favorite festivals in the country. One can witness the parade, great dance performances, and fireworks at Marina Bay. Fireworks can also be seen from the Singapore Flyer. This festival instills pride in every Singaporean.
- Hari Raya Puasa is an Islamic festival that marks the end of the month of Ramadan, fasting month. The meaning of this festival is “The Day of Celebration.” During this festival, one can enjoy many delicacies at the Geylang Serai Bazaar. Rituals are also performed near the Sultan Mosque.
- Diwali is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in the country in either October or November. People offer pujas and offerings at the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Many people go shopping at the Festival Village and Mustafa Centre. Little India is completely lit up and illuminated with fireworks.
- The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated by both Buddhists and Taoists alike. The festival is celebrated in either August or September. People visit the graves of their ancestors to offer them food. This festival is also known as the Yulan festival or the Zhongyuan Festival.
Other than these, there are many other festivals and cultural practices that take place amongst the Chinese, Malay, and Indian communities. Even other minor communities also celebrate festivals with great zeal and energy. There is no restriction from the government to celebrate the festivals according to religious practices, but people must keep in mind that they do not commit acts of racism, instigate a riot, or send any wrong message. People who want to witness festivals from other cultural groups are free to participate with their friends or colleagues.