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The Republic of Singapore is one of the most urbanized southeast Asian countries and is made up of 63 islands. The main island, Singapore, is also known as a city-state, with an area of only 247 square miles (637.5 square kilometers), separated by Johor Strait from Malaysia in the north and by Singapore Strait from Indonesia in the south, with a coastline totaling 120 miles (193 kilometers). The World Bank estimated the population at 5,076,700 with an annual growth rate of 1.8 percent for 2010.

Singapore became independent from Malaysia on August 9, 1965. It was a British colony for almost a century and under Japanese occupation during World War II. During its long colonial era its demographics, economic, social, and political structures were shaped, ...

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