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Singapore fastest growing Asia-Pacific country

Singapore has the fastest growing population among all the countries I checked on the Asian Development Bank Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2010. You will find it here on the bank's website.

I didn't check Samoa and Vanuatu and a few other Pacific islands on the list. But, among all the other countries, Singapore posted the biggest population increase in 2008 and 2009, according to the figures given by the bank. It shows by what percentage the population increased in each country. Those are the figures used here in the chart and the following table, which includes all the countries I checked.

Singapore and other Asian countries, population change, in per cent

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MPs’ pay in Singapore and other countries

Singapore's members of parliament are paid more than the members of the House of Commons and the European Parliament and their counterparts in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Singapore S$225,000 ($166,000)
USA $174,000 ($174,000)
Japan ¥1,300,000 a month ($15,200 a month,i.e  $182,000 a year).
UK £65,738 ($103,000)
European Parliament €7,665 a month ($9,880 a month, i.e, over $118,500 a year)
Canada C$155,400 ($151,000)
Australia A$131,040 ($118,000)
New Zealand NZ$144,500 ($103,000)

(Table shows annual salaries unless mentioned otherwise.)

I discovered this after reading that the Indian parliament plans to treble its members' salaries. The Financial Times report says: "Parliamentarians in the world’s largest democracy currently receive Rs16,000 ($343, €266, £220) a month."

That's less than a day's pay for a Singapore MP.

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Gini coefficient: Income gap in Singapore and elsewhere

Singapore has the second highest income gap between the rich and the poor, as indicated by the Gini coefficient, among the 38 countries with very high human development, according to the 2009 United Nations Development Report. Only Hong Kong has a higher income gap. See the table on this web page. You can also build your own tables using various economic indicators by going to the statistics page and you can read the report here.

The UN report says: The Gini index lies between 0 and 100. A value of 0 represents absolute equality and 100 absolute inequality.

Singapore, according to the 2009 UN report, had a Gini coefficient of 42.5, exceeded only by Hong Kong (43.4) among the countries with very high human development.

Here we compare Singapore's Gini coefficient with the figures for the rest of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asean Nations (Asean) and other countries with which it has close links. The figure tends to be lower in European countries, as this chart shows. All the figures are from the UN report.


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Singapore has the highest immigration rate in Asia Pacific after Hong Kong, according to the 2009 United Nations Development Report. Hong Kong's emigration rate  is also higher than Singapore's.

I looked up the report after Ms Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Water Resources, mentioned the UN Human Development Index in Parliament. You can see the report here and the statistics here.

Singapore is ranked 23rd on the index, as she said. It is one of only five Asian countries with very high human development, according to the index, based on life expectancy, literacy and standard of living. The others are Japan (10th), Hong Kong (24th), South Korea (26th) and Brunei (30th).

Norway is first, Australia second, Iceland third, Canada fourth and Ireland fifth on the list of 38 countries with very high human development, which include all the rich Western nations though some do better than others: the Netherlands (sixth), Sweden (seventh), France (eighth), Switzerland (ninth), America (13th), New Zealand (20th), the United Kingdom (21st) and Germany (22nd).  The Middle East is represented by Israel (27th), Kuwait (31st), Qatar (33rd) and the United Arab Emirates (35th).


Interestingly, some of the countries with very high human development also have high immigration rates. It's as high as 20 per cent in Ireland, 13.1 per cent in Ireland and 11.8 per cent in New Zealand. Hong Kong is also close to double digits with 9.5 per cent. The United Kingdom also shows a slightly higher figure (6.6 per cent) than Singapore (6.3 per cent). Emigration from the United States is as low as 0.8 per cent, same as that from India, but just a little more than from Japan (0.7 per cent) and China (0.5 per cent).  India and China are not on the list of 38 countries with very high human development, which are all named at the end of this post.

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China visitors fell below 1m in Singapore in 2009

Singapore saw a sharp drop in visitors from China in 2009 when its exports to China exceeded imports from there for the first time in several years. The number of mainland visitors fell from more than a million in 2008 to about 936,700 in 2009.


Mainland Chinese are still the second biggest group of visitors after those from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Malaysians, Indonesians, Thais and Filipinos. Their numbers rose marginally from more than 3.57 million in 2008 to over 3.68 million in 2009.

Visitors from Australia, the third biggest group, dipped from more than 833,000 to 830,000.

Indians continued to make up the fourth biggest group, although their numbers fell from 778,000 to 725,500, according to the Economic Survey of Singapore 2009 released by the Ministry of  Trade and Industry yesterday.

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