Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Straits of Malacca to the west, the Riau Islands to the south, and the South China Sea to the east. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet, the combined area of which has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. The country is home to 5.7 million residents, 61% of whom are Singaporean citizens. There are four official languages of Singapore: English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil; with English being the lingua franca. This reflects in its rich cultural diversity and extensive ethnic cuisine and major festivals. Multiracialism is enshrined in the constitution, and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, and politics.
Although its history stretches back millennia, modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the British Empire.