Some refer to her as the “little red dot,” but Singapore’s presence in the world today is larger than that moniker. In fact, Singapore is a bustling cosmopolitan city that offers a world-class living environment, with her landscape populated by high-rise buildings and gardens. One interesting facet you’ll discover about Singapore is a ubiquitous collage of cultures, where people of different ethnicities and beliefs coexist. Besides a vibrant multicultural experience, there’s more you can discover about Singapore.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Singapore is the truly cosmopolitan nature of her population, a natural result of the country’s geographical position and commercial success. Established by Thomas Stamford Raffles as a trading post on 29 January 1819, the small sea town of Singapore soon attracted migrants and merchants from China, the Indian sub-continent, Indonesia, the Malay Peninsula and the Middle East.
Drawn by the lure of better prospects, the immigrants brought with them their own cultures, languages, customs and festivals. Intermarriage and integration helped knit these diverse influences into the fabric of Singapore’s multi-faceted society, giving it a vibrant and diverse cultural heritage. By the end of the 19th century, Singapore became one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, with major ethnic groups in the country being the Chinese, Malays, Indians, Peranakans and Eurasians.
Today, the ethnic Chinese form 74.2% of the Singaporean population, with the country’s original inhabitants – the Malays, comprising of 13.4%. The Indians make up 9.2%, and Eurasians, Peranakans and others making up a combined 3.2%. Singapore is also home to many expatriates, with almost 20% of them made up of non-resident blue collar workers from the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh. The rest of the expatriate population include white collar workers coming from countries as diverse as North America, Australia, Europe, China and India.
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