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Country Profile of Singapore

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Department of Statistics
Web address
Position in the government
The Head of the Department of Statistics reports to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Main duties
As the National Statistical Authority, the Department of Statistics:

o Collects, compiles and disseminates a wide range of economic , business, household and population data

o Analyses and monitors trends of the economy and the society;

o Develops and maintains national statistical databases on households, dwelling units, establishments and statistical time series; and

o Provides advice and consultancy services on statistical matters to government agencies and the public.

As the National Statistical Coordinator, the Department of Statistics is responsible for:

o Developing national statistical standards;

o Standardizing definitions, classifications and procedures for use in statistical activities; and

o Promoting the observance of approved national statistical standards.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
Official statistics in Singapore date back to 1871 when the first census of population was taken. Since then, censuses have been taken regularly at ten-year intervals. The Census Ordinance of 1880 constituted the first statistical legislation for Singapore.

A legal framework for the collection, preparation and publication of official statistics was put in place only in 1921 with the enactment of the Statistics Ordinance. The Statistics Ordinance provided for the establishment of a Statistical Bureau. The Bureau has developed and grown to become the Singapore Department of Statistics today.

The Singapore Department of Statistics is the national statistical office responsible for official statistics on the Singapore economy and population. Before Singapore achieved self-government in 1959, the Department compiled almost all the statistical series. The focus was on external trade, shipping and cargo statistics and basic demographic data. The statistical activities expanded rapidly in the 1960s to cover manufacturing, and service statistics.

Since 1973, a decentralised statistical system has been adopted. Official statistics are collected and compiled by the Singapore Department of Statistics as well as Research and Statistics Units (RSUs) in various government ministries and statutory boards. The RSUs specialise in statistics on key areas under the purview of their parent organisations.

Legal basis
Legal basis
Statistical activities conducted by the Singapore Department of Statistics and gazetted Research and Statistics Units (RSUs) are governed by the provisions of the Statistics Act.

Legislative history and details:

1. Act 46 of 1973 - Statistics Act 1973
Date of commencement: 7.9.73

2. Act 19 of 1986 - Statistics (Amendment) Act 1986
Date of commencement: 29.8.86

3. Act 9 of 1990 - Statistics (Amendment) Act 1990
Date of commencement: 6.4.90

4. Act 24 of 1995 - Regulation of Imports and Exports Act 1995
Date of commencement: 1.12.95

5. Act 4 of 1999 - Building and Construction Authority Act 1999
Date of commencement: 1.4.99

6. Act 3 of 2010 – Statistics Act 2010
Date of commencement : 12.02.10

7. CENSUS ACT (CHAPTER 35) Act 47 of 1973, REVISED EDITION 1991

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Singapore has adopted a decentralised statistical system since the 1970s. The decentralised system comprises:

o The Singapore Department of Statistics, as the national statistical office and coordinator

o Gazetted Research and Statistics Units (RSUs) which are empowered to collect statistics under the Statistics Act

o Non-gazetted RSUs which collect statistics as by-products of administrative systems or under various laws enacted for administrative operations

Statistics collected by gazetted RSUs in ministries & statutory boards comprise:
Construction Industry Statistics
Manufacturing Statistics
Environmental Statistics
Money & Banking Statistics
Education Statistics
Health Statistics
Manpower Statistics
Infocomm Statistics
Energy Statistics

Statistics collected by non-gazetted RSUs in Ministries and Statutory Boards include:
Merchandise Trade
Visitor arrivals & Hotels
Vessel & Cargo
Air Transport & Cargo
Employment & CPF Member Wages
Birth & Deaths, Immigration, Public Order& Traffic Accidents
Public Housing

Data collection
Most recent population census
30 June 2010
Data confidentiality
Statistical activities conducted by the Singapore Department of Statistics and gazetted Research and Statistics Units are governed by the provisions of the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act assures the integrity of the statistical system through the safeguarding of confidentiality of data in individual returns.

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
An advance quarter-ahead release calendar for major statistical series (mostly monthly and quarterly) is published on the website (
Main publications
Softcopy of the Department’s publications is available for free downloading on the Statistics Singapore website. (

In addition, the Singapore Department of Statistics delivers several statistical products and services, including the following electronic and mobile services:

- SingStat Time Series (STS) Online
An internet accessible time series retrieval system that includes more than 7,000 statistical time series on Singapore's society and economy from several domains, covering national accounts, balance of payments, investments, finance, labour, prices, business expectations, trade, manufacturing, tourism, demography, health and education.

- SingStat Express
Delivers press releases, notices of publication, newsletter, occasional and information papers via email. SMS alert service is also available to local users. (

- Really Simple Syndication
Delivers the latest statistical news highlights and hyperlinks to the source documents whenever the updates are posted (

- Data on SMS
A free mobile service for local data users who wish to receive the latest key indicators on the Singapore economy and population via SMS (

- Data Request Form
Provides an additional channel for data requests (
Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
All possible formats.
Availability of microdata for research purposes
No micro-data sets are accessible to the public.

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