Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres north of the equator, with a population of 5.2 million people (but only 3.3 million people are Singaporean citizens and 0.5 million people are Singapore Permanent Residents).
It is an island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. Singapore is highly urbanised but almost half of the country is covered by greenery. More land is being created for development through land reclamation. Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the second century AD.
Modern Singapore was founded as a trading post of the East India Company by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. The British obtained full sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Singapore was occupied by the Japanese in World War II and reverted to British rule after the war. It became internally self-governing in 1959. To persuade the British to grant it independence, Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963 and the next two years were spent in impasse. Due to serious cultural and ideological conflicts over many issues, the Malaysian parliament voted 126 to 0 to expel Singapore from Malaysia and Singapore became a fully independent state in 1965.
Since its independence, it has seen an increase in living standards, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy is diversified but the twin pillars are the industry and service sectors. Despite its small size, Singapore is a world leader in several areas. It is the world's fourth-leading financial centre, the world's second-biggest casino gambling market, the world's third-largest oil refining centre and one of the five busiest ports in the world. The country has the highest number of US dollar millionaire households per capita, with one out of every six households having more than one million US dollar in disposable wealth, not taking into account properties and businesses. The World Bank notes that Singapore is the easiest place in the world to do business. The country has the world's third highest GDP PPP per capita of US$59,936, making Singapore one of the world's wealthiest countries.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme.