Singapore is a country comprised of 63 islands, located in Southeast Asia. The islands are separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor. Singapore is a highly modern and urbanised country.

Population estimate (2019): 5,852,504

Capital City: Singapore

Currency used: Singapore dollar

Gross National Income per capita (2013) (PPP international $): 76,850

Time zone: GMT + 8

Population growth rate (2019): 1.80%

Total fertility rate per woman: 0.83

Languages: The four official languages in Singapore are Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. English is the primary working language and mandatory in schools.

Key ethnic groups: 74.2% Chinese, 13.2% Malays and 9.2% Indians.

Religion: Buddhism is the most widely followed religion, followed by smaller groups following Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.

Literacy: 97%

Climate: Singapore has a tropical climate, being hot and humid throughout the year, and is characterised by two monsoon seasons. Average temperature is around 31ºc during the day with minor seasonal variation; slightly cooler in December-January and hottest in April-May. Night temperatures may fall to around 23ºc. Despite being generally sunny, rainfall is also prominent throughout the year, particularly from November to January.

Health statistics:

Life expectancy at birth (2016): 81/85 (male/female)

Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years: 65/38 (per 1000 population, 2016)

Total expenditure on health per capita (2014): $4,047

Number of doctors per 1000 population (2016): 2.27

Nursing and midwifery personnel density (per 1000 population, 2016): 7.12

Neonatal mortality rate (per 1000 live births, 2017): 1.1

Maternal mortality ratio (per 100.000 live births, 2015): 10

Births attended by skilled health personnel (2016): 99.6%

Top 10 causes of death:

Influenza & pneumonia: 5,340 people / 21.81% of total

Coronary heart disease: 4,901 / 20.02%

Lung cancers: 1,874 / 7.65%

Stroke: 1,806 / 7.38

Colon-rectum cancers: 1,307 / 5.34%

Liver cancer: 798 / 3.26%

Kidney disease: 743 / 3.03%

Lung disease: 647 / 2.64%

Breast cancer: 641 / 2.62%

Hypertension: 633 / 2.59%

Healthcare system

Singapore has an excellent and well-regulated healthcare system comprising public and private sectors. The government regulates both public and private health insurance. The Ministry of Health is responsible for assessing the health needs of the population, planning and delivering services throughout the country. The government offers comprehensive healthcare coverage to its citizens, while promoting healthy living and individual responsibility. The coverage is funded by a combination of citizens’ tax revenues, healthcare financing schemes and individual private savings, which are all administered at the national level.

Primary care is mostly provided by private practitioners. There are 1,4000 private general practitioner (GP) clinics and 18 public polyclinics offering primary care. Public polyclinics provide subsidised outpatient care, pharmacy services immunisations, health screenings and sometimes dental care. These clinics are primarily used by the lower income citizens, while the majority of the population use private GP services. There are also several outpatient specialist care clinics, primarily focused on cancer, oral care, cardiovascular diseases, nervous system diseases and skin diseases. Hospital care is provided by public and private hospitals. There are 9 public and 8 private hospitals in the country. Together they provide approximately 11,000 beds. While both sectors offer high standards and highly trained medical professionals, the standard of private hospitals is slightly better with shorter waiting times, the latest technology, and often doctors with more experience.