Singapore: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
The population was estimated to be 5.35 million in July 2012. The main ethnic groups are Chinese (76%), Malay (14%) and Indian (8%). According to the 2000 census, languages include Mandarin (35%), English (23%), Malay (14.1%), Hokkein (11.4%), Cantonese (5.7%), Teochew (4.9%) and Tamil (3.2%). English is the language most used for business purposes.
Religions include Buddhist (42.5%), Muslim (14.9%), Taoist (8.5%), Hindu (4%), Catholic (4.8%) and other Christian (9.8%) (2000 census).
Despite its multi-ethnic and diverse religious cultures, Singapore models itself on a western cosmopolitan metropolis with distinct leanings towards money and business. However, etiquette and protocol very much follow Asian traditions; westerners looking to do business in Singapore would do well to study these carefully.