Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a global city in Southeast Asia. Singapore was occupied by Japan during World War 2. Today, it is titled as “the easiest place to do business” by the World Bank.
62 interesting facts about Singapore
#1. Singapore is conquering Asia sand by sand….literally. Singapore has been accused of buying too much sand from Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. It led to several protests and blockades on sand trade after countries found chunks of their land being shipped off to Singapore.
#2. Singapore is very passionate about toilets. The Singapore government tabled a UN resolution to designate 19th November as the World Toilet Day. It not only got the support of 122 other countries but the World Toilet Organization was formed on 19th November 2001, in Singapore.
#3. Singapore can teach the world some lessons in honesty. The tiny city-state is the least corrupt in Asia and the 5th least corrupt country in the world.
#4. In Singapore, parents teach their kids good manners while the government teaches the parents some. Singapore actually had a government-backed National Courtesy Campaign, since 1979, where Singaporeans were taught ethics and mannerisms. However, in 2001, it changed to the Singapore Kindness Movement.
#5. Singapore has its national tree planting day on 7th November every year. Everyone from the Prime Minister to foreign diplomats to ordinary citizens’ plant trees on this day. Singaporeans even adopt and name trees for their children as birthday gifts or wedding presents.
#6. But when Singapore plants trees, it plants them in style. The government opened up a series of manmade solar-powered trees, up to 50 meters high, in the ‘Gardens at the Bay’ project. It is now a cultural symbol and a tourist hotspot.
#7. More than 80% of Singapore’s population lives in government-subsidized houses while the home ownership rate in Singapore is a staggering 92% (The highest in the world).
#8. Usain Bolt may be the fastest sprinter in the world, but Singaporeans are collectively the fastest pedestrians on the planet.
#9. In Singapore, stop chewing your gum if you see the police. Or simply don’t carry one. Currently, it is banned except without medical prescription.
#10. Caning is actually still a legal form of punishment in Singapore. If you are caught vandalizing the tropical paradise, you won’t be able to sit properly for a few weeks.
#11. Car lovers are almost broke in Singapore. Car use is heavily discouraged by the government and car owners have to pay additional 1.5 times the car price to get their car certified.
#12. Catch 30 male giraffes and stack them on top of each other. Climb onto the top giraffe to get a wonderful view of Singapore. Alternatively, just take a ride in the world’s second highest observation wheel, The Singapore Wheel. At 165 m, it missed the first place by just 2 meters.
#13. Dream high but build low. Singapore has a limit on the height of its buildings- a fair 280 m. There are three buildings in Singapore exactly 280 m in length.
#14. If you are born a man in Singapore, you have to handle the big guns once you reach 18. Singapore has compulsory military conscription of 1-2 years.
#15. Elevators in Singapore have Urine Detection Device, and if it detects the smell of kidney filtered water, it locks the doors until the police arrive. Singapore has passed a very specific law which prohibits urinating in the elevators.
#16. Singapore punches well above its weight. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRP), it’s the world’s 5th largest arms importer.
#17. The Reporters without Borders, an agency that evaluates press freedom across nations, had a hard time reporting from Singapore. They ended up have placing the island nation at 153 among 180 nations.
#18. It’s a crime to not flush the public toilet after use in Singapore.
#19. The Hort Park in Singapore is the first Park dedicated to exclusive gardening niche and is a gardening lifestyle hub in Asia.
#20. Though Singapore is a city state, it consists of 63 smaller islands.
#21. The five stars in the national flag of Singapore represents the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The color red signifies brotherhood while white represents purity.
#22. The Singapore Grand Prix Racing Circuit is not only Asia’s first one but also held the first ever F1 night-race in its 2008 inaugural race.
Singapore facts for kids
#23. Singaporean kids are smarter than the rest. They collectively topped the global math-and-science-education ranking, by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
#24. Children and plants are the heart and soul of Singapore. The first garden in Asia, dedicated to children, is the Jacob ballas children’s garden.
#25. Legend has it that Pulau Ubin, an island of Singapore, was formed when a pig, an elephant, and a frog had the challenge to see who would reach the shore of Johor first. All of them failed and were turned into rock, which is today the island.
#26. The Singapore zoo is a tropical paradise, filled with animals from all over the equatorial belt. It is named the best zoo in Asia and the third best in the world, by TripAdvisor.
#27. Singapore government had a mascot, Singa the Lion, to promote kindness among Singaporeans. Unfortunately, he had to resign with a heavy heart. He also wrote and signed a heartwarming resignation letter.
#28. Ainan Celeste Cawley, of Singapore, is a record holder for being the youngest child ever to pass O-level chemistry, at 7 years old. At 9 years he cracked the Physics “O level certificate”, too.
#29. You have heard about the legendary mermaid but did you know that the national icon of Singapore is The Merlion, a creature that is half lion and half fish.
#30. Every school kid in Singapore knows the legend of Sang Nila Utama, the price who founded the Kingdom of Singapura, in 1299. In an almost similar ending to Hollywood flick, “Life of Pie”, the price braved stormy sea to reach the island, where he had a vision of a lion.
#31. Singapore has an amazing thrill ride called the Megazip or the Flying bat, of Sentosa Islands. It lets people experience life through the eyes of a flying bat.
#32. Singapore’s National Stadium, has the world’s largest retractable dome, at 312m in diameter. The huge canopy can shelter 55 thousand fans from rain and the sun alike.
#33. Singapore has two days dedicated to its children. While 1st October is celebrated for children below 12 years, the Youth Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of every July, for teenagers.
Facts about Singapore’s history
#34. Singapore has changed it’s time zone 6 times since 1905. To avoid further confusion, simply build your own sundial in Singapore.
#35. The only tropical garden with a UNESCO World Heritage Site tag is the 156-year-old Singapore Botanical Garden. With 4.5 million annual visitors and a National Orchid Garden, it is the mother of all botanic gardens.
#36. During 1940-41, Singapore was a theater of World War 2, with about 1, 00,000 odd soldiers fighting in this tiny nation. Ironically, none of them were native to Singapore. The British were defending an attack from Japanese forces.
#37. Singapore is a result of Independence with Independence. While the British left Singapore to Malaysia in 1963, the City state became a sovereign country only in 1965.
#38. The funny thing about the independence of 1965 was Singapore didn’t not fight its way out; rather it was thrown out of Malaysia by democratic voting.
#39. Singapore had a brief name change. Syonan-to, which means the Light of the South, was the name given to Singapore under Japanese occupation.
#40. Singapore is one of the only three surviving city-states in the world. The other two are Monaco and Vatican City.
#41. The history of Singapura is recorded in great details in the Sejarah Melayu or the Malay Annals. It is a text that narrates the history of the entire Malay Peninsula.
#42. Singapore’s first name was Temasek which literally meant sea town. A name which holds good even today.
Facts about Singapore’s Economy
#43. You don’t get rich in Singapore without thanking Singapore. Singapore prints the entire lyrics of its national anthem into its 1000 Singapore dollar notes.
#44. Size doesn’t matter. The city-state which ranks at 190th in terms of size, ranks number one in terms of the salary it gives to its head of State. The Prime Minister of Singapore earns a whopping $1.7 million annually, which is four times higher than what the US president earns.
#45. Singapore knows its business well. For ten consecutive years since 2006, it has topped the ease of doing business list by World Bank.
#46. Lee Kuan Yew was the first prime minister of Singapore who held the office for three decades. A deeply revered heartthrob of Singapore and an inspiration for the world, he turned Singapore into a first world country, in a single generation.
#47. The millionaire concentration of Singapore is just too god-damn high. 17% of the population, or one in every six people, has assets worth $ 1 million or more, which is the highest in the world. A point to note down for conmen, across the globe.
#48. Both the IMF and the World Bank have placed Singapore at the 3rd position in their GDP per capita list. Ironically, Malaysia from whom Singapore gained independence in 1965 is placed at the 28th on the list.
#49. Singapore imports from one hand and exports from the other. Everything from sand to fresh water is imported and its entire economy is based on shipping.
#50. Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city in 2016.
#51. Singapore is an Asian Tiger. Nothing carnivorous, it’s just the name given to the economies of 4 Asian countries- Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, which saw tremendous growth during the late 20th century. Well, we knew the bull and the bear of economics, but the tiger is a cool addition.
#52. The Changi Airport in Singapore was voted the World’s Best Airport for the fourth consecutive time in 2016.
Culture of Singapore
#53. Singapore has invented food courts before it was cool. The hawker chefs of Singapore are notoriously famous for churning out world-class cuisines. They all converge on few spots which have become food hubs.
#54. Singapore was long ago attacked by hordes of swordfish. A young boy worked out a brilliant plan to trap them but was killed by the king who feared his intelligence. Legend has it that the red color of the region’s soil is due to the young boy’s blood.
#55. Singapore loves to enjoy good food. Every day two new restaurants are opened in Singapore. A rare feat, given its size.
#56. Just the name “Garden City” didn’t satisfy Singapore’s high ambitions. The government plans to transform Singapore into a “City in a Garden”. The conclusion? Garden > City, in Singapore.
#57. The cosmopolitan nature of Singapore can be understood by the name of its national flower; Vanda Miss Joaquim, an orchid named after an Armenian horticulturalists.
#58. If you want to give a speech in Singapore learn the countries OB markers first. Singapore decides what topics are “Out of Bounds” for public discussion and debate. Incidentally, direct criticism of the government is not allowed.
#59. Singapore has its own definition of success. The five C’s of Singapore: Car, cash, credit card, condominium, and country club are the five king makers in the island state.
#60. The Sultanate of Malacca was founded by a Hindu king from Sumatra, Parameshwara who later converted to Islam.
#61. The largest tropical orchid garden in the world can be found in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
#62. The diversity of Singapore made Singlish, a colloquial Singaporean English, the de-facto language of the state.
Quick/fast country facts Singapore
|Capital City||Singapore (city-state)|
|Total area||697 sq km|
|Population||5,674,472 (July 2015 est.)|
|Official Language||English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil|
|Currency||Singapore dollar (SGD)|
|Religion||Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity|
|Life expectancy||824.68 Years (2012)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Climate||tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - northeastern monsoon (December to March) and southwestern monsoon (June to September); inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms|
|Terrain||lowlying, gently undulating central plateau|
|Natural resources||fish, deepwater ports|
|Birth rate||8.27 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Death rate||3.43 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Sex ratio||0.96 male(s)/female (2015 est.)|
|Independence||9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)|
|National symbols||lion, merlion (mythical half lion-half fish creature), orchid; national colors: red, white|
|National anthem||"Majulah Singapura" (Onward Singapore)|
|Industries||electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepot trade|
|Exports||$384.6 billion (2015 est.)|
machinery and equipment (including electronics and telecommunications), pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, refined petroleum products, foodstuffs and beverages
|Imports||$294.2 billion (2015 est.)|
machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs, consumer goods
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$85,300 (2015 est.)|
|Time Zone||SST (UTC+8)|
|Internet country code||.sg|
|Internet users||4.659 million|
percent of population: 82.1% (July 2015 est.)
|Drives on the||Left|