Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Singapore
  • Founded as a British colony in 1819. Joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent on August 9, 1965.
  • Location: Southeastern Asia, 63 islands between Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Area: 274 sq. miles, slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, D.C.
  • Population: 5,674,472
  • Capital: Singapore (pop. 5.619 million)
  • Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy, two monsoon seasons – Northeastern monsoon (Dec.-March) and Southwestern monsoon (June – Sept.). Frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
  • Terrain: lowland, gently undulating central plateaus contains water catchment area and nature preserve
  • Nationality: Singaporean
  • Ethnicity: primarily Chinese
  • Official languages: Mandarin, English, Malay, Tamil
  • Religions: Buddhist 33.9%, Muslim 14.3%, Taoist 11.3% other
  • Literacy: 96.8%
  • Economy: a highly developed and successful free-market economy. An open and corruption free government with stable prices. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing financial sector. Singapore’s port is one of the world’s busiest in terms of tonnage handled.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com



  • A parliamentary republic
  • Chief of state: President Tony Tan Keng Yam (since 2011) – elected by popular vote
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (since 2004) – appointed by the president


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy: 84.68
  • Health expenditures: 4.6% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 1.95 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 2 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 6.8%
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight: 3.3%
  • Generally an efficient healthcare system, ranked sixth in the world by the WHO. The government’s healthcare system is based upon the “3M” framework: Medifund which provides a safety net for those not able to afford healthcare, Medisave, a compulsory health savings scheme covering about 85% of the population, and Medishield, a government funded health insurance scheme.
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm


Images From the Field

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail


Area Agencies

Field Stories

Translators in the Field: Providing aid in many countries will require translators. Often your group is fortunate to have one or several individuals who speak the native dialect. This is a definite plus. A couple points to be aware of with the use of translators: You may notice, as I often have, when using translators […]


Continued » View All Stories » test