Today, Singapore is the most expensive city in the world with the fastest-growing economy. From the world’s best airport yearly, to the best hospitals and roads in the world, and a top country for sustainability and culture…Singapore is breaking boundaries in many sectors. But it wasn’t always like that. In fact, Singapore was a low-income country after independence from Malaysia in 1965. But today, 59 years later, it is known as one of history’s greatest victories jumping from a third world country to a first world country in just 53 years.
How did Singapore grow so fast into a first world country?
In 1965, Singapore was a third world country with more than two-thirds of the population living in slum and overcrowded conditions, without proper infrastructure, and limited resources.
Singapore’s rapid development is attributed to the strong leadership of the first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who implemented strict, long-term economic and social policies to develop the country after independence.
Key factors that contributed to Singapore’s rapid transformation into a high-income society included a mandatory requirement for citizens to learn English and a mother tongue language of their race, as well as its ideal location for major ports, international trade and commerce offering an open economy trading approach and easy access to the rest of Asia.
Other strategies that helped develop the nation include better investments on education and employment, significant improvements on infrastructure such as better transport and housing, and a focus on attracting tourism. Meanwhile, Lee Kuan Yew’s government promoted social cohesion and multiculturalism for a sense of togetherness and to aid stability and growth.
Overall, the focus on economic growth, expansion, and stability helped Singapore become a first world country in a short period of time.
Indeed, the rapid evolution of Singapore from a third world country to a first world country is associated with the 20th century’s most influential leader – Lee Kuan Yew.
As a result, Singapore is one of the richest countries worldwide with one of the world’s highest GDP growth today. In fact, no other country in the world has a rapid growth record as fast as Singapore. The GDP per capita in Singapore was around S$516 in 1965 but it’s expected to reach S$92,471.66 by the end of 2024.
In just half a century, The Little Red Dot went from rags to riches evolving from high levels of unemployment and illiteracy into a thriving nation with excellent education, one of the highest life expectancies of 83 years, and the most powerful passport globally.
In general, Singapore is an attractive location for billion-dollar companies. Plus, it was named one of the world’s best cities with a bustling hawker centre culture, ig-worthy places like SuperTree Grove, the greatest rooftops and viewpoints worldwide, and so much more.