Patheos Watermark

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Population (2009 est.)4,657,542
Religious DemographicsBuddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Daoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census)
Ethnic GroupsChinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000 census)
LanguagesMandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)

The country has an area of 270 square miles and a population of 4.8 million, of whom 3.6 million are citizens or permanent residents. According to the last decennial census taken in 2000, 85 percent of citizens and permanent residents profess a religion. Approximately 42.5 percent of the population is Buddhist, 15 percent Muslim, 15 percent Christian, 8.5 percent Taoist, and 4 percent Hindu. Adherents of other religious groups, including small Sikh, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Jain communities, comprise less than one percent of the population. The remainder of the population, approximately 15 percent, does not profess a religion.
Approximately 74.7 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese, 13.6 percent ethnic Malay, and 8.9 percent ethnic Indian. Nearly all ethnic Malays are Muslim. Among ethnic Indians, 55 percent are Hindu, 25 percent are Muslim, and 12 percent are Christian. The ethnic Chinese population includes mainly Buddhists (54 percent), Taoists (11 percent), and Christians (16.5 percent). There are no current membership estimates for the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Unification Church, the two religious groups that the Government has declined to recognize.