As the country lacks groundwater, the residents were previously completely referenced to collect rainwater. During the late 1900’s, freshwater imports became increasingly important. It is transported by pipeline from Johor in the southernmost of Malaysia and at the turn of the century covered almost all of the country’s water needs.
- Countryaah: Population and demographics of Singapore, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.
The increase in population and economic growth have led to a significant increase in water demand and Singapore has become a global center for the development of water recycling technology and also outstanding in terms of water management. New, unconventional methods are used to increase water resources within the country, and current plans aim to make the country self-sufficient by 2060 with water.
In the mid-2010’s, Singapore had 17 large reservoirs where rainfall from two-thirds of the country’s surface was collected via the drainage into the small watercourses. In the highly exploited city state, there is now no room for further large reservoirs and there is also a great risk of contaminating existing water resources.
Rainwater solves about 20 percent of the water demand. It is used mainly in industries, for cooling and washing.
Desalination of seawater is an energy-intensive and therefore very costly method of getting water to industries and households. The first desalination plant was commissioned in 2005. Capacity has grown gradually, but costs are rising with rising energy prices and the production of desalinated water corresponds to just over 10 percent of the need.
The most successful method is high-grade purification (ultraviolet treatment and membrane technology) of water used. The method is called NEWater and has been developed since the early 2000’s. In mid-2010, recycled water accounted for 30 percent of Singapore’s water use. This water is completely harmless to drink and more than meets WHO’s standards for clean water. Less than half of the water needed in Singapore comes from a Singapore-run water plant in southern Malaysia, and as production in the NEWater project increases, the need for imported water decreases.
In 2007 Singapore had 4,553,000 residents, life expectancy was 81 years, 92.5% of the population was literate and the average number of children per woman was only 1.07.
After Monaco, Singapore has the highest population density in the world. 85% of its residents live in municipalities like Tampines in public housing built by the House Development Board (HDB).
The ethnic diversity of the population is very marked: the Chinese represent 76.8%; Malaysians 13.9%, Indians 7.9% and the rest come from various countries, mainly Western.
Ethnic diversity is also evident in the official languages. Despite being a very small country, it has four languages with official status: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil and Bahasa (both: Indonesian and Malay). The entire population must be bilingual, learning English and one of the other three languages, this other depending on the origin of the parents. If neither parent is of any of the ethnicities who speak one of the other languages (other than English), they can then choose which of the other three languages their children will study at school.
For reasons of order, the Singaporean government conducts a census to measure the ethnicity and religion of its citizens every ten years, which gives an idea of religious diversity and its evolution.
The most practiced religion is Buddhism followed by 42% of the population, mostly those of Chinese origin, practiced in its three main aspects; Mahayana, Hinayana and Vajrayana. Although Mahayana Buddhism is the majority, Theravada, Tibetan (or Tantric) Buddhism and Japanese Soka Gakkai have also become popular. According to the censuses, Buddhism has experienced a constant growth being practiced by 27% in 1980, by 31% in 1990 and by 41% in 2000, that is, with an increase of ten percentage points every ten years.
The second most practiced religion in Singapore is Islam, practiced mainly by the Malay ethnic group and accounting for 14.9%. Their number has remained stable, going from 13% in 1980 and 1990 to 14% in 2000. It is followed numerically by Christianity with all its branches (Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox) followed by 14.6% of the population. Christians have also experienced growth, although more conservative than in the case of Buddhism, going from 10% in 1980 to 12% in 1990, and 14% today. It should be noted that people without religion (atheists, agnostics, etc.) represent 14.8%, that is, they are just below Muslims and a little above Christians.
The Taoism is the fourth largest religion in Singapore, followed by 8%. It has suffered a significant decline being followed by 30% in 1980 and by 22% in 1990, which is a huge decline in practitioners. After Taoism, Hinduism follows in number of practitioners, which is followed by 4% of the population according to the 2000 census and remains stable (3% in 1980 and 1990).
In addition to these religious groups there are small minorities of Jews, Jains, Sikhs and Zoroastrians.
The island, which was previously called “Temasek”, was christened “Singapura” in the 14th century by Prince Parameswara. In 1819, the British Thomas Stamford Raffles took control of the city to face the commercial dominance of the Dutch in the region. In 1826, Singapore, Penang and Malacca constituted the colonies of the Straits, as dependent territories of the British government. During the Second World War, as of February 15, 1942, the island fell under the rule of the Japanese Empire., which attacked it from land taking advantage of the fact that the city’s defenses were oriented towards the sea, being the greatest British humiliation suffered in the war, since it was not only a military defeat, but it was also a severe blow to Western domination in all of Asia. In 1959, Federation of Malaysia was elected Prime Minister. His party, the People’s Action Party, then proposed joining Lee Kuan Yew, which was achieved in September 1963. Shortly after, in 1964, the differences were manifested and the secession of the Republic of Singapore was agreed, being proclaimed on August 9, 1965.