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The Republic of Singapore is an independent nation in Southeast Asia located off the tip of the Malay Peninsula and connected to Malaysia by causeway Formerly a British crown colony and then part of the Federation of Malaysia it became independent in 1965 The name Singa Pur Sanskrit for city of the lion was given by Sumatran settlers in the 13th century It is a densely populated and prosperous nation whose people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in Asia Singapore Island accounts for 93 of the total land area of 6178 km6 2385 mi6 the remaining 7 is composed of 50 small islets The islands are generally flat The highest point is located near the center of Singapore Island The island is drained by several short rivers and streams the longest of which is Seletar River about 145 km 9 mi long Located about 110 km 70 mi north of the equator the nation has a tropical wet climate The average temperature in January is 26 C 79 F and in July 28 C 82 F rainfall totals 2413 mm 95 in annually Since Singapore lies almost on the equator its temperature and precipitation are distributed quite evenly throughout the yearSingapores principal resources are its strategic position on the Singapore Strait and its people Natural vegetation once consisted of forests and mangroves but today only 5 of the land area is tree covered Singapore is a multiethnic nation Approximately 76 of their population is Chinese 15 Malay and 9 Indian Pakistani Sri Lankan and others English the principal language of business government and education is used by more than 25 of the adult population Religious affiliation reflects ethnic background Most Chinese are Buddhist or Daoism Taoist Malays and Pakistanis Muslim most Indians Hindu and others Europeans and Eurasians mostly Christian Singapore is the only nation outside of mainland China and Taiwan where the majority of the population is ethnic Chinese and its
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