Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree (137 kilometers or 85 miles) north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia’s Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore’s territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23% (130 square kilometers or 50 square miles). The country is known for its transition from third world to first world in a single generation, under the leadership of its founding father, Lee Kuan Yew.
The city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents. There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil; almost all Singaporeans are bilingual. Its cultural diversity is reflected in its extensive ethnic cuisine and major festivals. Singapore is a conservative society and Pew Research finds that Singapore has the highest religious diversity of any country.