Singapore
Asia's cosmopolitan city
Singapore ethnic groups, Singapore demographics, Singapore religion

Demographics & Religion

"Where else can you find a Buddhist pagoda, a mosque and a Hindu temple on the same street corner..."

 

  

 

 

Singapore is the world's second most densely populated country, surpassed only by Monaco (not counting Hong Kong, which is not a sovereign country).

Approximately 85% of the city-state's residents are staying in the public housing blocks of HDB (Housing and Development Board), as public housing in Singapore is, without any doubts, among the most developed on earth.

 

Other than to provide reasonably priced housing to the people, HDB's main objective is to ensure that its housing projects do maximize the use of the country's diminishing land reserves, and to make sure that every residential area will have its fair share of green parks and recreational areas.

 

Singapore's population stands at around four and a half million, and the Chinese are forming the largest ethnic group, with 76% of the population. In fact, Singapore is one of the largest Chinese cities out of China.

 

Thanks to its proximity to Malaysia, the Malays are forming the country's second largest ethnic group, counting for almost 14% of the population.  Some of the Malays who live here today are descendants of tribes who lived in Singapore and its environs long before Raffles' days, while others arrived at the city from the archipelago's remote parts, and even from as far as the Island of Borneo.

 

Indo-Singaporeans form the third largest ethnic group, counting 8.5% of the population. Like the Malays and the Chinese, the Indians of Singapore are not a single, homogeneous group and divide to sub-groups, such as Tamils from India and Sri Lanka, Punjabis, Bengalese and others...

 

Along these three groups, there are also some other ethnic minorities, like Europeans, Eurasians (mixed race of Europeans and Asians), Thai, Jews and Arabs who, together, form approximately 2% of Singapore's population

  

Thanks to its ethnic and cultural diversity, Singapore also boasts religious multiplicity and most of the world's major religions are practiced in the small country: 43% of Singaporeans are Buddhists, 15% follow different forms of Christianity, 14% are Muslims, 8.5% are Taoists, 4% Hindus and 14% do not associate themselves with any religion. 

The remaining, less than 1%, divides between small religious groups, like Jews, Sikhs, Bahais and others...

 

A short insight from 'Metropolasia-Man':

Inspite of its small area, most of the world's major religions are practiced in Singapore.

 

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To ensure peaceful co-existence among the numerous religious and ethnic groups that call Singapore home, the government makes serious efforts to enforce religious tolerance and fully respects the beliefs and the rituals of any of its citizens, as long as they do not violate law and order...

 

Loud public arguments about religious topics are normally unacceptable.  The country's schools are normally secular and do not teach religion and, generally speaking, the government tries, as much as possible, to keep religion separated  from state affairs and to make sure that it remains the private business of each individual citizen.

 

On the other hand, religious and traditional holidays of the various groups are recognized by the government as public holidays and, further more, they are celebrated in a big way, probably in order to increase the togetherness of the people and to show respect for the various traditions that share this small piece of land...

 

As expected, Singapore celebrates a large number of religious holidays and traditional festivals (visit the Singapore holidays chapter for more details)

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