Singapore has the third highest population density in the entire world! As of January 2016, the population of Singapore was estimated to be around 5.6 million. This amount is equivalent to 0.08% of the entire world population. Not bad for the size of this place. The majority of the population consists of Asians, then the rest is a very diverse blend of groups. Singapore is a home for all.
Singapore’s weather is classified as a tropical rainforest climate, with no distinct seasons. It is characterized by high humidity and abundant rainfall so it’s always warm and wet. Be sure to pack lightweight cottons and linens to avoid becoming overheated in the muggy Singapore climate. Also remember to carry an umbrella any time of year, but particularly during the rainy season. When visiting, be sure to drink enough water and seek frequent refuge from the sticky heat indoors. Thunderstorms are also a very regular phenomenon, occurring on roughly 40% of all days year-round but particularly common during the Southeast Monsoon.
The four official languages of Singapore include English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Most people speak English and the majority of the signs you encounter will be in English too. “Singlish” is the unique mashup of English with expressions and slang from the other commonly local languages. Most Singaporeans are bilingual and speak English, which is used as the main language of communication. That’s good to know for travelers.
Housing is the biggest expenditure as far as the cost of living is concerned. This does not come as a surprise: room for real estate is limited. On the other hand, Singapore has low income tax rates, so your net income will probably be larger. Broadband Internet, cell phone plans, and house phone lines are really affordable, though. So there is a bonus for you technology lovers! If you use mostly trains and buses, you will not have to spend much money on public transportation. Bonus!
Singapore has extensive, safe, and reliable public transport. It is mainly land-based, so cars, bikes, and taxis are very common. The other major form of transportation is railway on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) which runs the length and width of Singapore. The extensive rail network means that most of Singapore’s key attractions are within walking distance from an MRT station. Taxis are comfortable and especially handy if you want to go to places not accessible by the bus or MRT. Singapore’s bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore and is the most economical way to get around, as well as being one of the most scenic.
Singapore’s education system is among the most highly regarded in the world, but it is also famously known to be highly demanding. The system includes pre-school, primary, secondary, post-secondary, special education, private education, and pre-university. Each educational level builds upon one another. Even if your children attend private or international schools, it is worth taking a closer look at the public education system in Singapore.
Healthcare facilities in Singapore are widely recognized as the best in Southeast Asia. Their facilities are equipped with the latest medical equipment to maintain a high standard of medical service. One of the most efficient in the world, Singapore has a universal healthcare system where the government ensures affordability of healthcare within the public health system. However, you should always be insured for major treatments, surgery, and hospitalization. In case of serious illness or accidents, your cost of living in Singapore would explode without medical insurance. Major hospitals in Singapore are recognized as benchmarks for healthcare delivery standards in the region and as such have built Singapore’s reputation as a medical center of excellence.