Singapore Cultural Groups

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Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

Singapore's demographics describe a population of 4.48 million, as estimated by the last census in 2005 and is the fourth most densely populated country in the world. Singapore is a multiracial country with a majority population of Chinese, with substantial Malay and Indian minorities. Mahayana Buddhism is the first religion in Singapore though not representing a majority, with significant numbers following Islam, Christianity or no religion at all. The annual population growth rate for the year 2000 was 2.8%. The country has four official languages, and English is widely used, and Malay is the national language.

Chinese[edit | edit source]

Approximately 75% of the population of Singapore are Chinese. The majority of them practice Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Adherents of Christian religions comprise a small portion of the population.

Indian[edit | edit source]

According to the Singapore Minority Rights Group, the Indian minority are those who can trace their origins to the part of the British colonial empire that consisted of what is now Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. The word Indian is a generic term used. Over 55% of the "Indians" are Hindu, 25% Muslim, 12% Christians, and 5% Sikh. Around two-thirds are of Tamil ancestry, other ancestry includes that of Punjabis and Malyalis, Sindhis, and Gujaratis.[1]

Malay[edit | edit source]

The Malay population in Singapore consists of about 13.6%, and for millennia they have inhabited the Malay Peninsula. They predate the arrival of the Chinese and Indians who came during the British colonial rule. The majority of Malays are Sunni Muslims.[2]

Peranakans or Peranakan Chinese[edit | edit source]

Peranakans are an ethnic group of Chinese settlers originating from the southern provinces of China and settling in Malay archipelago - now encompassing Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and southern Thailand. The Peranakans are descendants of some of the earliest Chinese settlers and have many unique cultural customs and traditions that are a mixture of ancient China and the Nusantara region.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Indians" in "Minorities and Indigenous People in Singapore," on Singapore Minority Rights,, access 26 November 2019.
  2. "Malays" in "Minorities and Indigenous People in Singapore," on Singapore Minority Rights,, access 26 November 2019.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Peranakan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 31 March 2020.