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Singapore street sceneSingapore street scenePhoto: Sippsala CC 2.5 Generic no changes made

Singapore had 5,888,926 inhabitants in 2017. On average there are about 8224 people per km2, making Singapore one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Almost 30% of the total population is under 25 years old. In 2017 the population grew by 1.82%. The Singaporean lives an average of 85.2 years. (2017)

The Chinese are the largest population group with 74.2%. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many Chinese immigrants came in search of work and a better life. The Chinese migrants mainly came from the southern provinces of China. They soon had their own habitats in Singapore and dialect lines still run through the old part of the city.

Malays make up about 13.3% of the population. The Malays are the original inhabitants of Singapore. They emigrated from the Malay Peninsula and from Indonesia to Singapore. The majority of Malays live in high-rise districts like Geylang, as well as the few remaining Singapore countryside and northern islands. There they live in some typical Malay kampongs.

Indians make up about 9.2% of the population. They arrived in Singapore in the mid-19th century and were on their way to Malaya to work on the plantations. Most of them did indeed continue to Malaya, a small part stayed behind in Singapore.

About 60% of the Indian population are Tamils and about 20% are from Kerala in South India. The rest include Bangladeshis, Punjabis and Kashmiri. Approx. 3.3% of the population (approx. 150,000 people) consists of Europeans, Americans, Australians, Japanese and Arabs.


Beliƫn, H. / Maleisiƫ : Singapore

Hellander, P. / Singapore
Lonely Planet,

Oon, H. / Singapore
Van Reemst

Ministry of Information and the Arts

Wee, J. / Singapore
Chelsea House Publishers

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info