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Singapore in numbers - The series

Elevating discussions with data

There are increasingly passionate comments about many things by many people expounded; particularly on the internet and social media. However, many of such comments are simply opinions, often not backed up by facts and often very one sided in their arguments. And in today’s world where social media filters and feeds us only the opinions that agree with us, it could fester and lead to potentially erroneous perceptions of the world around us.

As an analytics consulting firm, FYT Consulting feels that the right data when used in an objective manner can shed light on the topics and elevate discussions. SINGAPORE IN NUMBERS is a series of analyses and observations intended to do just that. Using only publicly available data from official sources, FYT hopes to help readers see Singapore in a new objective light and perhaps sharpen your knowledge about the hot data topics that you see online and in the media.

In this series, we plan to cover the following topics, just to name a few:

  • Employment

  • Income

  • Fertility

  • Housing…

Singapore's GDP per Capita, LIfe Expectancy and Infant Mortality vs the world (Worldbank data)

Singapore in numbers

Singapore’s economic success since independence is well known and well document; it is an often- quoted case example of economic development in many policy and academic circles. As of 2014, Singapore is among the top 10 countries in many of the key areas that matter:

  • GDP per capita

  • Life Expectancy

  • Lowest 10 in infant mortality rates

Singapore is categorized as a high-income country by the Worldbank, whose GDP per capita is comparable to the likes of Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. Singapore is close to the 75% percentile in GDP per capita among high incomes countries in East Asia & Pacific. Not bad for a country that started out as a sleepy fishing village.


Global Competitiveness index rankings by country (World Economic Forum 2015)

Absolute vs relative measures

Singapore meteoric rise cannot be properly appreciated simply based on the absolute numbers. Especially since other countries could also be growing as well and at different rates; and GDP per capita is only one dimension among many when considering a country’s growth.

The World Economic Forum regularly publishes the global competitiveness index; which assesses competitiveness landscape of 138 economies, providing unique insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. Singapore ranks 2nd in the world based on the Global Competitiveness Index, losing the top spot to Switzerland. The report further suggests that Singapore’s economic success is built upon meeting the basic requirements of its citizens and on being a highly efficient economy; but is still lack in the areas of Innovation and sophistication. But given that it is still a relatively new nation (only 52 years as of 2017 since independence), this is a no small achievement.


With growth, there are growing pains…

To have achieved all that Singapore has achieved (health and wealth) in one generation is no small feat. The first phase of Singapore’s growth was about meeting the basic needs (health, housing, education) and building the economy (e.g. productivity, sector growth). But since becoming a mature high-income economy, it presents new and different challenges for the nation; many of which are complex, inter-connected and difficult to understand. These will be the issue we will explore in our next segment…

Data sources - Worldbank; World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index

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